NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 31 (All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (44-27-5) at Nashville Predators (47-22-8), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks look to strengthen their hold on second place in the Pacific Division on Tuesday night when they visit the Nashville Predators.
The Canucks snapped a two-game slide with Monday's 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. That has them two points up on the third-place Calgary Flames with a game in hand. Vancouver has six games remaining to Calgary's five.
Eddie Lack made 23 saves in last night's victory, while Nick Bonino, Alex Burrows, Radim Vrbata and Shawn Matthias all scored. Vrbata added an assist to his 31st goal of the season and Christopher Tanev had a pair of helpers.
Vancouver's win was the sixth straight over St. Louis and it began a four-game road trip with a fourth consecutive road victory.
"They're a good team, and for whatever reason, we've have some good fortune (against them)," said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins.
The Predators got some help from the Canucks last night as they lead the Blues by three points for first place in the Central Division with 102. They have five games left to the Blues' six and also trail the Anaheim Ducks by three points for the most in the NHL.
Nashville clinched a playoff spot in Saturday with a win over Washington, then saw its four-game win streak halted the following day with a 5-2 setback to the Calgary Flames.
Carter Hutton started in place of star goalie Pekka Rinne and allowed four goals on 29 shots. Defensemen Roman Josi and Seth Jones had the goals.
"I don't think we were at our best tonight," said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. "It seemed like we were slow to get into the battles, or at least getting our second or third man into the battles."
Nashville was without the services of its captain, Shea Weber, for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury. His status for this game is unknown.
The Predators have won three of their past four versus the Canucks and snapped a three-game slide at home in this series with a 5-1 win on Jan. 13.
03/31 10:51:06 ET