Carter Hutton's 33 saves lifted the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory on their first of four stops on a Western Canadian road trip. Hutton made 13 saves in the first, 10 in the second, and 11 in the third.
The only goal Hutton allowed was a ridiculous deflection by Chris Higgins over the goaltender's shoulder. Hutton has won the last three starts, including back-to-back 30+ save games.
Thursday night at Rogers Arena, Nashville was able to get the best of a depleted Vancouver Canucks team, who are without head coach John Tortorella (suspension) and captain Henrik Sedin (injury).
Nashville strormed in the third period down a goal with two of their own. At 3:28, Craig Smith scored the game-tying goal from the right circle, short-side past Roberto Luongo.
On the Predators' third power play attempt of the night, Nick Spaling was able to tip Seth Jones' shot past Luongo for the game-winner at 12:38.
– Former-Pred Dan Hamhuis missed on 5 back door chances during a 4:00 power play. It was quite obvious how the Canucks worked the puck around. However, there was no immediate adjustments by the players who were stuck on the ice. When Kevin Bieksa attempted the same play on a different shift in the second period, it was baffling to see the coaches not eliminate the back door pass.
– Michael Del Zotto played well in his debut. With just 13:15 of ice time, Del Zotto was able to display what he was about — good puck movement, smart defensive plays and a wicked shot. Hopefully Trotz can put him more when they invade Nashville north, aka Calgary, Friday.
– Questionable roster decision to call up Taylor Beck from Milwaukee, but keep him a scratch for the game. Maybe there is an illness or lingering injury in the locker room? Only time will tell.
VN 0-1: Chris Higgins – Weise and Tanev at 9:09 in the 2nd
NSH 1-1: Craig Smith – Spaling at 3:28 in the 3rd
NSH 2-1: PP Nick Spaling – Jones and Cullen at 12:28 in the 3rd
NSH: Carter Hutton (W) – 33 saves on 34 shots; played 59:48
VAN: Roberto Luongo (L) – 24 saves on 26 shots; played 58:20
My Three Stars
1. Carter Hutton: 33 saves
2. Nick Spaling: GWG and Assist
3. Craig Smith: Goal
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Beck and Ekholm
Predators starters: Spaling, Legwand, Smith, Weber, Josi and Hutton
Canucks scratches: Weber, H. Sedin and Schroeder
Canucks starters: D. Sedin, Kesler, Burrows, Garrison, Edler and Luongo