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Canucks Stop Streaking Predators

Throughout the year goalie Ryan Miller has had to go through some tough injuries, but has still shown glimpses of his Buffalo Sabres days.

Saturday night was no different as he brought his A-game and delivered a 4-2 victory for the Vancouver Canucks against the streaking Nashville Predators.

The Canucks had the worst record in the NHL with a lead entering the third period (15-4-7, .577 winning percentage), and if not for Miller’s right-foot save to rob James Neal on a rebound chance from close range at 4:55 of the third period, they may have added another loss.

“That’s a little bit of desperation where it hits the inside of my foot and stays out instead of skipping under,” Miller said. “That’s a little bit of luck … and maybe due for it too.”

Sven Baertschi and Derek Dorsett scored late in the first period, Bo Horvat scored the winning goal midway through the second, and Daniel Sedin scored into an empty net for the Canucks (27-28-12), who have won two straight and three of the past four.

For the Predators they were 9-0-5 in their previous 14 games, the longest point streak in the NHL entering Saturday and the longest in their history.

They received goals from Mike Fisher and Colton Sissons, both in the second period.

The first goal of the game came when Ben Hutton‘s one-timer from the point went wide to Rinne’s left but bounced back out to Baertschi, who fought off defenseman Shea Weber’s check and backhanded the puck before Rinne could recover at 17:44 of the first period. It was Baertschi’s 14th goal.

Pekka Rinne made 24 saves in the loss.

Dorsett scored 1:17 later after another tough bounce. Rinne stopped Burrows’ shot from the right faceoff circle with his pad, but the rebound bounced hard off the back boards to Horvat on the other side of the net. Horvat’s blind backhand pass went right to Dorsett at the top of the crease, and he one-timed it under Rinne for his fourth goal, ending a 29-game drought.

This was the second game in a row that the Predators fell behind 2-0, however Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said he isn’t worried about the poor starts yet.

“Tonight, there’s no question we didn’t play very well in the first period and were slow to get off the mark,” Laviolette said. “If something happens over and over and over again, you look at what are we doing wrong, but our team has been a really good starting team. I haven’t seen a long-term problem, so hopefully there is not a long-term problem.”

On that beat, the Predators outshot the Canucks 17-8 in the second period.

Fisher made it 2-1 at 9:17. Nashville’s forecheck pinned Vancouver in its own end through a line change before Josi spotted Fisher cutting into the slot for a redirection past Miller. It was Fisher’s 11th goal.

Horvat made it 3-1 when he drove the net and had a rebound bounce in off his shin pad 1:18 later for his 11th goal.

Roman Josi helped closed the gap again. After skating the puck up the ice and executing a give-and-go with Austin Watson at the blue line, Josi hit Sissons, who is from nearby North Vancouver, with a backhand pass for a tap-in to make it 3-2. It was Sissons’ third goal.

Unfortunately for the hometown boy, three minutes later Daniel Sedin settled the game for good with an empty net goal at 19:11 for his 26th of the year.

Up next: The Winnipeg Jets visit town Monday for an evening match-up with puck drop at 7:00pm.

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