Sedins can’t overcome Rinne
The Vancouver Canucks and Predators raced out of the starting gates to generate 23 shots in the first period on Tuesday but were unable to put one past Pekka Rinne or Roberto Luongo in the opening twenty minutes.
After the scoreless opening frame Mike Fisher and the Predators broke out for two second period goals, establishing a lead Nashville would never relinquish to the visiting Canucks.
The Hat Trick
Mike Fisher burned the Canucks on several occasions Tuesday, tapping home a Ryan Suter redirect early in the second period to give the Predators the lead, only to come back with a vengeance on Nashville’s next penalty kill.
Fisher found a loose puck just before his own blue line and blew by Sami Salo as Fisher and fellow penalty killer Sergei Kostitsyn raced towards Roberto Luongo on a short-handed odd-man rush.
Fisher feathered over a perfect pass to Kostitsyn who snapped home his 15th of the season past Luongo to extend the lead.
Rinne Reigns Supreme
The Sedins were unable to generate any offence against Pekka Rinne and the Predators, kept in check by the towering tandem of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
The Sedins were both held without a shot on net in Nashville, leading fans to worry about another Western Conference playoff matchup between these two defensive teams.
While there is no doubt the Sedins don’t get along on the ice opposite behemoth Shea Weber, fans were happy to see Roberto Luongo lock it down late to give his team a chance at the comeback.
Grease for Weise
Dale Weise put up another solid performance against the Predators on Tuesday, tallying the Canucks’ lone goal in just over six minutes of play in Nashville.
Vancouver’s fourth line of Weise, Maxim Lapierre, and Manny Malhotraone of the team’s best on Tuesday, generating the Canucks only goal and consistently putting pressure on the Predators in their own zone while on the forecheck.
Look for the fourth line to play a big part in Thursday’s game against the Red Wings.
The Canucks couldn’t get their game going under the watchful eye of Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne and the defensively determined Predators.
After allowing the opening goal early in the second period Vancouver had to respond with a strong power play, but were doomed once Sergei Kostitsyn snapped the shorty goal past Luongo.
The Canucks can pick themselves off the mat with a big game in Detroit on Thursday.
“That’s how it goes, you can’t win every game.” Roberto Luongo and the Canucks will try not to lose too much sleep over Tuesday’s loss to the Predators.
1st. Mike Fisher – GOALS: 1| PTS: 3| ASST: 2 SOG: 6| PLUS/MINUS: 2
2nd. Pekka Rinne – SAVE PCTG: 0.970
3rd. Sergei Kostitsyn – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 2| PLUS/MINUS: 1
Nashville 3, Vancouver 1
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Referees: Tim Peel, Rob Martell
Linesmen: Vaughan Rody, Tim Nowak