Canucks 7, Predators 4

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 15, 2013
Andrew Ebbett and Jannik Hansen both had a goal and two assists as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 7-4 on Thursday night. Alex Edler, Mason Raymond, Max Lapierre, Henrik Sedin on a penalty shot, and David Booth, into an empty net, also scored for the Canucks, who won their second straight. Roberto Luongo finished with 29 saves. Ebbett, who has split time this season between Vancouver and the minors, got his first goal for the Canucks. Hansen's three-point night was the first of his NHL career, which began with 10 playoff games in 2006-07. Matt Halischuk, Nick Spaling, Mike Fisher and Gabriel Bourque scored for the Predators, who outshot the Canucks 33-22. Vancouver led 3-1 after the first period and 5-2 after the second. All the goals came at even strength as Nashville was 0 for 4 on the power play and Vancouver went 0 for 2. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne came in with two shutouts in his previous three games. However, Ebbett - recalled Monday from Chicago of the AHL - opened the scoring 1:25 into the game after Hansen stole the puck from Nashville defenseman Scott Hannan behind the net and sent it out front. The goal ended Rinne's even-strength shutout streak at 186 minutes and 21 seconds. Rinne was partly to blame though as he decided to leave the puck for Hannan instead of clearing it. Halischuk tied the score 1-1 about 2 1/2 minutes later as he jammed in his own rebound. Edler put Vancouver ahead less than two minutes later on a slap shot following a faceoff. Raymond made it 3-1 with just under 2 minutes left in the first period as he one-timed Ebbett's cross-ice pass. Hansen also assisted on the goal. Luongo preserved Vancouver's lead as he stopped Nashville captain Shea Weber on a one-timer with just over 4 minutes left in the first. Lapierre increased the Canucks' advantage to three goals 5 1/2 minutes into the second period as he scored on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box. He took a stretch pass from Dale Weise at Nashville's blue line and beat Rinne with a shot through the legs. The goal ended Rinne's night as coach Barry Trotz pulled him in favor of Chris Mason. Rinne allowed the four goals on 12 shots Just 29 seconds later, Spaling reduced Nashville's deficit to 4-2 as his goal-mouth pass went in off Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa. However, Hansen restored Vancouver's three-goal lead at 13:48 of the second period. Vancouver's two second-period goals came on only four shots, while Nashville unleashed 12 at Luongo. Fisher pulled the Predators to 5-3 as he beat Luongo with a backhand from the slot at 6:38 of the third. Martin Erat had a chance to close the gap further midway through the final period, but fired the puck way over the net while looking at an open top corner. Bourque drew the Predators within a goal at 15:21 of the third, but Nashville's comeback hopes were short lived. Sedin deked Mason on a penalty shot just more than 2 minutes later after the Canucks captain was hooked on a breakaway. Then Booth scored into an empty net when Lapierre decided to pass instead of shooting. The goal came shortly after both Lapierre and Booth hit the post with the Nashville net empty. NOTES: Bieksa returned to Vancouver's lineup after missing five games with a groin injury. ... Canucks winger Steve Pinizzotto, 28, played his first NHL game after appearing in 285 minor-league contests. The Mississauga, Ontario, native was recalled earlier Thursday from the Chicago of the AHL and quickly made his presence known by fighting Kevin Klein on his first shift. ... The Predators played without injured top scorer Colin Wilson (upper body) as well as defenseman Hal Gill (lower body) and forwards Patric Hornqvist (upper body) and Paul Gaustad (upper body) ... As a result of Pinizzotto's recall, Vancouver winger Tom Sestito was scratched along with defensemen Keith Ballard and Cam Barker.
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