Canucks 5, Predators 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 21, 2011
Henrik and Daniel Sedin each had a goal and assist during a four-goal first period that chased Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne and lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-1 victory over the Predators on Thursday night. Shut out by the New York Rangers despite getting 40 shots Tuesday night, the Canucks wasted little time getting on the board against the slumping Predators. Daniel opened the scoring 2:11 in, Henrik added another less than 4 minutes later, and Dale Weise, with his first as a Canuck, and Chris Higgins scored 86 seconds apart as the Canucks avoided losing their first three home games for the first time since 1984. Ryan Kesler also scored on a lengthy 5-on-3 in the third period - his first goal in his second game after offseason hip surgery - and Roberto Luongo, booed by the home fans Tuesday, finished with 24 saves. Matt Halischuk had the lone goal for the Predators, who have lost four straight (0-3-1), are without top-end forwards Mike Fisher and Martin Erat, and looked nothing like the team that played Vancouver so tough before losing in six games of the second round of last year's playoffs. Nashville was outshot 40-25 and is the only Western Conference team to be outshot in every game this season. Rinne, runner-up for the Vezina Trophy last season, finished with 12 saves before coming out after the first, but was as much a victim of bad bounces. He made a good save off Henrik Sedin on a walkout only to have twin brother Daniel bank the puck in off the back of his glove from behind the net 2:11 into the game. Maxim Lapierre hit the post on a 2-on-1 the next shift, and Halischuk tied it 2 minutes later after his shot went wide and off the end boards before bouncing right back to him in the slot with Luongo trapped. Henrik Sedin restored the lead for good less than 2 minutes later with a harmless looking power-play slap shot that a defender deflected perfectly up and over Rinne's shoulder. And Weise similarly deflected an even more harmless looking point shot from Alex Edler that bounced into the slot. Rinne actually got a break when Marco Sturm had a goal called back for kicking it over the line just over a minute later. But Higgins scored 23 seconds after that when his cross-ice pass attempt on a 2-on-1 hit defenseman Jonathan Blum's stick and bounced right back to him, standing Rinne, who committed to the pass. Anders Lindback took over in the Nashville net to start the second, and made a handful of great saves while killing off three straight penalties, including a 5-on-3 for 1:33. Kesler finally beat him from a sharp angle during another long 5-on-3 after Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were penalized on the same play, with Weber getting a double minor for boarding and unsportsmanlike conduct. Lindback finished with 23 saves on his first action this season. Notes: Nashville D Francis Bouillon, out with a concussion since January, is on the trip and practicing but doesn t expect to play. Fischer, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, is not with the team. Neither is Erat, who suffered an upper-body injury in the season opener. Canucks LW Marco Sturm, who signed a $2.25 million, one-year free agent deal in the summer, was back after being a healthy scratch Tuesday. Veteran Mikael Samuelsson, who had offseason sports hernia surgery, came out of the lineup after experiencing stiffness. Nashville RW Niclas Bergfors, signed as a free agent after scoring 34 goals in 162 NHL games, played just his second game of the season after struggling in the first, but only had 4:25 of ice time after two periods.
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