Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 3/14/13
4 Game Home Stand Begins vs. Predators Well, on paper, the Vancouver Canucks three game road trip was not a total disaster! Three points in two games against Columbus helped them garner three of a possible six points during the three game road swing. The Canucks return home Thursday to face a Nashville Predators team that has had as much trouble scoring goals as the Canucks as of late. Nashville Predators (11-9-1-5) at Vancouver Canucks (12-7-1-5) When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 14, 2013 Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia Broadcast: TSN, FS-TN Preds vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog Nashville Predators +1½ -225 +141 Ov 5 +124 Vancouver Canucks -1½ +195 -155 Un 5 -137 Vancouver needs to crank it up soon – they have some company in the chase for the Northwest Division and in the chase for the eight playoff spots in the Western Conference – Vancouver currently sits in third in the West just two points ahead to the tenth place Predators. The Nashville Predators come to town as the lowest scoring team in the NHL – just 2.15 goals per game. But they are coming off a win in which they netted four on the way to a 4-0 win on the road at Dallas Tuesday night. Shea Weber has been terrific as of late for the Preds however – he has five points in his last three games. Others are struggling however – Sergei Kostitsyn has just two points in six games, Kevin Klein is pointless in five and Roman Josi has failed to register a point in six games. That leaves it up to Pekka Rinne. He has recorded shutouts in two of his last three starts and has a 2-0-1 record over that span with a 0.32 GAA and insane .988 save%. Rinne is 2-2-0 with a 3.66 goals-against average in five career regular-season starts at Vancouver although he went 2-1-0 with a 1.41 GAA there in the 2011 playoffs. Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction vs. the Predators The Vancouver Canucks stumble home after a less-than-scintillating win over the previously hot Columbus Blue Jackets. Vancouver has scored two or fewer goals in five straight games and is 0 for 22 on the power play in its last nine – not exactly what we have become used to from this team!You have to go back to late 2006 for the last time the Canucks had such a hard time scoring over an extended period. Chris Higgins has just one point in his last four games, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond are pointless in their last three games, Alex Edler has failed to register a point in his last nine games! Yuk! The starting goaltender for Thursday has yet to be named but Coach Alain Vigneault was very happy with the play of Roberto Luongo in Columbus. Cory Schneider is 0-1-1 in his last two starts with a 2.95 GAA and .898 save %. Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction A few trends to consider: • Under is 11-4 in NAS last 15 road games. • Under is 20-8-1 in NAS last 29 overall. • VAN are 7-2 in their last 9 Thu. games. • Over is 9-3-1 in VAN last 13 overall. • Road team is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. The Vancouver Canucks still appear to be lacking a bit of chemistry – not something you want to hear when you are going up against a Barry Trotz coached team. The first game back from a road trip is typically hard on the home team – look for that trend to continue Thursday. Nashville isn’t great but they play some of the most sound defense in the game today. Coming off a big win, defense and confidence carries them to victory Thursday. Pick: Nashville Predators +141 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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