VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Eddie Lack made 30 saves, and Nicklas Jensen and Alex Edler scored 1:13 apart in the third period to give the Vancouver Canucks a 2-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.
The Canucks posted their fourth win in seven games but remained in 10th place in the Western Conference while pulling within three points of eighth-place Phoenix. The win was timely, because Vancouver remained a point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, who beat Colorado earlier Wednesday night.
Nashville is in 12th place, dropping five points behind the Jets.
Lack earned his fourth shutout of the season, tops among NHL rookies, even though the Predators enjoyed a 30-22 edge in shots.
Jensen finally opened the scoring when he picked up a loose puck while Nashville defenseman Seth Jones was checking Henrik Sedin and roofed a shot over goalie Carter Hutton’s outstretched glove.
It was Jensen’s third goal in four games, and just the third of his NHL career. The Danish rookie has only played seven games this season since being promoted from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League because of injuries to key forwards Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler.
Edler gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead on a power play as he slid a slap shot between Hutton’s outstretched leg and the right post. The goal came only 5 seconds after Nashville defenseman Victor Bartley was penalized for interference. The puck went in while the infraction was being announced over the public address system.
The Canucks were back home after a four-game road trip. The Predators completed their third straight set of back-to-back games within nine days.
Accordingly, neither team could muster a goal in the first two periods.
The Canucks did not get a shot on goal until 9:27 of the first period. Vancouver then enjoyed a spurt of offense, dominating with the teams at full strength, but could not beat Hutton.
The Predators controlled play for the rest of the period, but could not beat Lack. The Canucks’ goalie denied Gabriel Bourque from close range following an odd-man rush. Near the end of the period, Lack stopped Patric Hornqvist twice on one-timers within a few seconds of each other.
In the second period, Hutton stopped Edler as he came out of the penalty box, took a pass and rushed down the right wing. Moments later, Hutton foiled Dan Hamhuis on a wraparound and Alex Burrows on the ensuing rebound.
Notes: The Canucks lost Burrows after Jensen’s goal. He appeared to be slashed on the left hand by Predators captain Shea Weber as the puck went in. Burrows’ glove came off on the play. … Nashville center Paul Gaustad was injured when Edler fell on him in the first period. Gaustad went to the dressing room and did not return. … Vancouver coach John Tortorella said defenseman Chris Tanev will be out three to four weeks with a broken finger sustained while blocking a shot Monday in Tampa Bay. If the Canucks miss the playoffs, he could be done for the season. No updates were given on injured center Ryan Kesler and wing Daniel Sedin, who remain out indefinitely with undisclosed ailments. … Canucks center Brad Richardson returned after missing seven games with an upper-body injury.
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