For The Gamblers! Canucks Continue Road Trip in Nashville
The Vancouver Canucks, fresh off a win in Dallas Thursday night make the quick turnaround and head to Nashville for their third game in four nights Friday. Their host – the Predators who have earned a point in all but one home game this season and a team that has gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games overall.
Nashville as per usual is without a host of marquee names but does possess a system that somehow keeps them near the top of the Western Conference standings.
Vancouver Canucks (8-3-0-4) at Nashville Predators (8-4-1-4)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 22, 2013
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Broadcast: SNET-P, FS-TN
Canucks vs. Preds Betting Lines from betonline.com
Vancouver Canucks +1˝ -315 -103 Ov 5 +119
Nashville Predators -1˝ +265 -107 Un 5 -131
The Vancouver Canucks are back in the win column after blowing leads and losing three straight games – a streak that started against the Dallas Stars – the team that they beat Thursday. The Canucks will welcome Jannik Hansen back to the lineup after his one game suspension and may have Roberto Luongo between the pipes after Cory Schneider started last night.
Vancouver has finally started to score some goals and have crept up to an average of 2.88 per game. Henrik Sedin has two goals and three assists over a three-game point streak and Daniel Sedin has two goals and five assists in his last four games. The defense chipped in with a goal Thursday night. Jason Garrison scored to continue the trend of Vancouver's blueliners contributing in the offensive zone. The Canucks' power play has looked better since the return of Ryan Kesler to the lineup - the return of David Booth has also served to solidify what is a heck of a lineup.
As mentioned, it could be Roberto Luongo's turn between the pipes Friday night. He is 4-0-3 with a 1.48 GAA in his seven starts this season. He's also fared well on the road in this series, winning five of six starts including three playoff wins with a 1.93 GAA in Nashville.
The Nashville Predators are the third best defensive team in the NHL but the Canucks may just have caught them at the right time. After a stretch of three shutouts in five games the Preds have struggled to keep the puck out of the net the last two – losing 6-5 in a Monday loss and surrendering three last time out in a win against Detroit.
The Predators don’t score a ton of goals – an average of just 2.18 per game so far this season. That said they have some dangerous players and a well balanced lineup that gives their opposition fits.
Colin Wilson has two goals and five assists over a five-game point streak, while Shea Weber has woken up and produced three goals and two assists in his past three outings. Mike Fisher, who had an assist against the Red Wings, has four goals and two assists in his last three games in the series. Center Paul Gaustad is doubtful for Friday's contests with an upper-body injury - a tough injury for a team short on star players.
Pekka Rinne is 7-1-1 with three shutouts and a 1.13 goals-against average in his last 10 appearances. Rinne is 4-1-3 with a 1.57 goals-against average and three shutouts in eight home starts. He will be the biggest challenge that faces the Canucks. That said Rinne has a 2.17 GAA in 10 career home starts against Vancouver -- including three in the 2011 West semifinals -- but is just 3-6-1.
A few trends to consider:
• Under is 10-1-5 in VAN last 16 road games.
• VAN are 15-7 in their last 22 Fri. games.
• Under is 10-2-3 in NAS last 15 home games.
• NAS are 12-4 in their last 16 vs. Northwest.
• Under is 17-6-4 in NAS last 27 overall.
• Road team is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
• Over is 5-2-1 in the last 8 meetings.
The Vancouver Canucks will be playing their third road game in four nights while the Preds have been off since Tuesday. That’s the difference Friday night. Vancouver will be a tired team up against a team whose identity is grinding out victories. Nashville makes it tough on anybody – they should feast on Vancouver’s exhausted bodies.
Pick: Nashville Predators -107