Defense carries Predators to Game 2 win over Canucks

League: NHL

Posted on: 24 Apr, 2024 at 05:56 AM

Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Beauvillier and Filip Forsberg each collected one goal and one assist to pace the visiting Nashville Predators to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, evening their Western Conference first-round playoff series at one win apiece.

Colton Sissons and Kiefer Sherwood also scored for the Predators. Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros made 17 saves, including a few highlight-reel efforts while the Canucks pushed frantically in the third period to try and draw even.

Collectively, Nashville's skaters blocked 30 Vancouver shot attempts.

"At the end of the day, I think the sacrifice and the shot-blocking was the reason we won," Forsberg said, "and phenomenal goaltending as well."

Nikita Zadorov had the Canucks' lone goal. Casey DeSmith, who was in net with No. 1 goalie Thatcher Demko out due to an injury, stopped 12 of the 15 shots he faced.

Vancouver was also without towering defenseman Tyler Myers.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday in Nashville.

Canucks center J.T. Miller said, "(The Predators) played well. They did what they had to do to win the game. We had a couple of breakdowns that put us behind the eight ball, and they're comfortable sitting on the lead and blocking a lot of shots."

Beauvillier opened the scoring just 74 seconds into the clash, the second time in as many games the Predators scored first. Forsberg sent in a long shot that Beauvillier deflected into the cage on the game's first shot on net.

"Any time you score a goal in the playoffs, it's a pretty good feeling," Beauvillier said. "That was huge for us to get the first one, and we handled it pretty well the rest of the game."

Forsberg doubled the lead at 6:29 of the second period by showing off his quick hands from in close on a golden chance he created by driving to the net.

Sissons tallied 95 seconds later to stake the Predators to a 3-0 edge. Taking advantage of a turnover at the Vancouver blue line, Sissons pounced on a rebound after Beauvillier's shot was denied.

Zadorov finally provided the hosts with a much-needed offensive jolt at 15:33 of the middle frame. The big defenseman's long shot from the left point made it through a screen and found the mark.

However, Sherwood's empty-net goal with 1:53 remaining in the third, Nashville's first shot of the period, sealed the game.

Tuesday's victory snapped a seven-game playoff losing streak for the Predators.

DeSmith was not discouraged for his Canucks.

"I think the guys played great tonight and played well enough to win," he said. "If we keep bringing that game, we're not going to get every bad bounce. Some of those posts are going to go in, and some of those empty nets we're going to connect on."

--Field Level Media