Lesson in Edmonton not learned, Preds get blasted by Canucks…

VAN pic

The Nashville Predators needed to shoot the puck. Roberto Luongo needed to stop some pucks.

Advantage: Luongo.

The Vezina Trophy finalist made 25 saves on just 26 shots en route to the 5-1 Vancouver Canucks victory.

The Preds had two full days off to sit and think about their miserable 12 shot performance against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday but still barely mustered twice that number tonight. Additionally, they lost their fourth game in a row after starting the 2011-12 campaign 2-0-0.

Pekka Rinne, the 2011 Vezina Trophy runner-up, was hung out to dry by his team once again. He faced 16 shots in the first period (including 15 in the first 15 minutes) and allowed four goals, none of which were his fault.

Just minutes into the contest, Henrik Sedin banked a shot off of Rinne’s backside for the opening goal. Sedin, standing behind the net, noticed Rinne was still in the process of making the initial save. Being the all-world player that he is, he made the only play he could. And it gave his team the early lead.

Matt Halischuk answered immediately for the Predators. When Colin Wilson got him the puck at the blueline, the former Kitchener Ranger fired a deflected shot off the end boards. He corraled his own rebound and put the tying goal past Luongo.

That wouldn’t keep the Canucks down, however. After Patric Hornqvist took a tripping penalty, Henrik Sedin gave his team the lead once again by wristing a shot on goal from the point. The shot was tipped by Kevin Klein on it’s way into the net, giving the home team the 2-1 lead.

Vancouver would add two more scores before the end of the first period. Dale Weise tallied his first career NHL goal followed 1:26 later by Chris Higgins‘ third of the season. The Canucks would have went into the locker room up 5-1 were it not for a disallowed goal. The officials ruled that Marco Sturm had kicked the puck in, which he did. The controversy came when the replay showed no “distinct kicking motion.”

In an attempt to shake up the team, Trotz pulled Rinne in favor of Anders Lindback to start the second period. The 6’6″ Gavle, Sweden native turned aside 23 shots, allowing only a 5-on-3 power play marker by Ryan Kesler in the final frame.

It sounds like a broken record but the Predators will once again try to right the ship on Saturday against the Calgary Flames. It’s a special matinee start time of 3:00pm Central. Join us at Brewhouse South in Franklin and let’s help get the team off the “schnide.”

LEFTOVER THOUGHTS:
* At the end of the opening period, Wilson and Max Lapierre dropped the mitts. Wilson, not being a fighter, lost the bout but sent a message to his team. Considering everything he’s been through over the past 12 months, that really says something about his character and leadership potential.
* This was Lindback’s first action of the 2011-12 season.
* This was Niclas Bergfors‘ second game of the year.
* Obviously frustrated, captain Shea Weber took a bad boarding call in third period, putting his team down 5-on-3. His defense partner Ryan Suter was already getting a hooking call.
* The Preds took 11 penalties. The Canucks took six.
* The Canucks cashed in on those opportunities, going 2-for-10 on the man advantage.
* Klein was on the ice for all but one goal scored in this game.
* Vancouver outshot the Preds 40-26.

THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1) Daniel Sedin (VAN)
2) Henrik Sedin (VAN)
3) Dale Weise (VAN)

PHOTO CREDIT: @winnytran // Twitter (permission pending)