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Luongo, Canucks shutout Preds

(Photo courtesy of Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Dale Weise scored the lone goal to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 1-0 win against the Nashville Predators on the road. For Vancouver, they were able to win both of their games in their back-to-back in Dallas and in the Music City. Head coach Alain Vigneault has to be happy about getting four points in two nights.

For whatever reason, the Predators just stopped playing their style of hockey after the first period. The Canucks were out-skating them and owned a good chunk of time of possession. “We had things going our way,” said defenseman Hal Gill who returned to the lineup Friday night. "We had the momentum, then for whatever reason, we backed off.”

“We didn’t generate enough [chances], we didn’t generate enough of the hack-and-whack attitude.”

 Not too many of the 23 shots on Roberto Luongo were quality, which is a problem when attempting to score on him. Quality shots are what get passed him, not attempts to stuffing it in low. While criticizing the Predators’ scoring attempts, all credit goes to Luongo and his defense for recording a shutout on the road.

Despite not heading to locker room with a lead in the first intermission, the Predators were able to outplay their opponent and set the tone early. Nashville was able to put a lot of pressure on Roberto Luongo, but he was able to stand strong in net stopping all thirteen shots in the period.

It took 7:33 for the Canucks to get their first shot on net.

“We were prepared,” said Nashville forward Rich Clune. “We were playing the way we wanted to play.”

The second period was much better for the Canucks, as in their first shift back, they went all out on the attack for the first three minutes plus. However, Vancouver lost a key asset to their defense as Kevin Bieksa 2:56 in the period with a lower body injury. Bieksa wouldn't return.

Obviously, the Predators were unhappy with their second period performance only having a couple of good chances on Luongo. “We lost all our energy,” said associate coach Peter Horachek. “In the second period, they picked it up, we didn’t.”

“We had one scoring chance that period, it isn’t good enough.”

 After limiting Nashville’s offensive attack, the Canucks were able to finally score on Pekka Rinne in the third period. Dale Weise scored alone on the back door, picking up a rebound from Maxim Lapierre’s shot.

Weise’s goal turned out to be the lone goal of the game.

With 2:12 remaining, the Predators attempted to tie the game up and force it into overtime. Alexandre Burrows went to the penalty box with Rinne on the bench for the extra attacker, giving the Preds a six on four attack. However, the Canucks penalty killers were able to keep the puck away from Luongo and limiting the Preds' chances.

The Canucks were able to win the game 1-0 giving Luongo a much needed morale boost with a shutout.

Line Up Report

Starting Goaltenders:

Name SV SH Goals Allowed SV % Decision TOI
#35 Pekka Rinne 23 24 1 .958 LOSS 58:45
#1 Roberto Luongo 23 23 0 1.000 WIN 60:00

Predators Scratches: #7 D Jonathon Blum, #23 W Brian McGrattan (conditioning assignment) and #28 C Paul Gaustad (upper body)

Canucks Scratches: #15 W Aaron Volpatti, #18 D Cam Barker and #41 D Andrew Alberts

Gill Returns: Patric Hornqvist said Moday before returning to the ice, "Hit or be hit, so you know you are back." That is what Hal Gill did in his first shift back. Gill hit goal scorer Dale Weise along his team's bench to get himself, his team and the fans fired up.

Gill played on the third line with Trotz limiting his ice time with it being his first game back. He played a total of 13:41.

The main reason Trotz wanted to get Gill back in the lineup was because of the red hot play by the Vancouver power play. Having Gill in the lineup really helped the Predators to shutdown the dangerous Canucks. 

Gill played 1:31 short handed with his teammates taking only two penalties of the night.

Bieksa leaves mid-game: Vancouver’s number one defenseman Kevin Bieksa saw his last shift of the game 2:56 in the second period. Midway through the second, Dan Murphy of Sportsnet reported that he saw Bieksa with his gear off. Later on in the period, the Canucks announced Bieksa would miss the rest of the game with a lower body injury.

Goals and Assists

1-0 VAN: Dale Weise – Lapierre and Hamhuis at 9:14 of the 3rd

My Three Stars of the Game

1. Dale Weise: GWG

2. Roberto Luongo: Shutout, 23 Saves

3. Pekka Rinne: 23 of 24 Saves