The Nashville Predators looked like they had the Vancouver Canucks on the ropes during the first period on Friday night. Vancouver was in the second game of a back-to-back, and the Predators had a plethora of scoring chances in the first period. However, despite out-shooting the Canucks by a 13-3 margin in the opening frame and having a power play opportunity, the Predators were unable to get any pucks past Roberto Luongo.
That proved to be costly for them.
Vancouver claimed a 1-0 shutout victory over the Predators in front of the 22nd consecutive sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena on Friday night. They totally outplayed the Predators in the second and most of the third period after the Predators were the better team in the first period.
“We had a pretty good start and got right on them. We had a couple of good chances and couldn’t capitalize, but I think the second and third period wasn’t very good. We’ve got to play 60 minutes, and we didn’t do that tonight,” said Predators defenseman Roman Josi.
Nashville got shots from 10 different players in the first period en route to their 13 shots on goal. The Predators had just 10 shots on goal for the rest of the game, and they gave up 21 shots on goal to the Canucks in the final 40 minutes.
“We came out really good in the first, but then we quit playing a little bit in the second. We can’t do that. There’s too many good teams in this league, so we need to keep focused and keep going and don’t stop after a good first period,” said Predators forward Patric Hornqvist.
The Predators had a very good power play in the first period that created a lot of chances right in front of the net. Luongo made a few good saves to keep the puck out of the net, and the Predators simply missed on a few other chances. It was a huge kill for the Canucks, who seemed to be hanging on by a thread in that first period.
“I think we moved it around pretty good and had a couple of chances in front. I mean they’re going to go in. We’ve just got to keep shooting and keep getting pucks to the net,” Josi said.
Vancouver finally got on the board in the third period when Dale Weise scored his first goal of the season. Maxim Lapierre simply fired a puck toward the net and Weise was in position for the rebound. Nashville would put together a decent flurry near the end of the third period, but Luongo was able to make the necessary saves to lead the Canucks to victory.
Nashville will take on the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night for the second time this week. The Predators got a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over the Wings on Tuesday night and will be in the second half of a back-to-back against Detroit for the second time this week. Nashville was able to get the victory the first time, and they’ll look to do the same thing again on Saturday night in the Motor City.
“We’ve just got to play like we did in the first 20 minutes,” Josi said. “If we play like that for 60 minutes I think we’ve got a pretty good chance, but if we let up like we did tonight it’s going to be tough tomorrow.”