Preview: Predators at Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are still holding on tight to first place in the Pacific Division despite losing four in a row and look to begin turning their ship around when the Nashville Predators pay a visit on Monday night. The Canucks lead Vegas and Edmonton by one point after being outscored 17-7 during their current 0-3-1 stretch, capped by Saturday’s 6-2 setback against Calgary.
Vancouver coach Travis Green said the Flames looked like the “more mature team,” and forward Tanner Pearson told reporters: “We got a bit too much into a track meet with that team. That’s the kind of game they wanted. That doesn’t give us success. We have to get back to the way we play and nip this losing streak in the bud.” The Canucks will likely be without forward Brock Boeser (45 points), who left Saturday’s contest with an upper-body injury, as they go for a three-game sweep of the Predators after winning a pair of games by a combined score of 11-6 in November. Nashville entered Sunday two points out of the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference after falling 3-2 at Edmonton and will go after its fifth victory in seven contests at the end of a four-game road trip to Western Canada. “You have to stay steady on the rudder,” Predators coach John Hynes told reporters. “We played a good game. We’re coming. There’s belief we’re playing the game the right way, so it’s unfortunate we didn’t get it (Saturday). But we’ve got to make sure we’re moving on to Vancouver.”
TIME: 10 p.m. ET. TV: FS Tennessee, Sportsnet Pacific
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (26-21-7): Center Nick Bonino recorded his 17th goal - matching his total in 2018-19 - Saturday and is one behind forward Filip Forsberg for the team lead. Forsberg is second on the team with 38 points, trailing only All-Star defenseman Roman Josi (54) after the captain registered six assists in his last six games to pull within five helpers of 300 for his career. Juuse Saros (9-9-4, .902 save percentage) has won three of his last four starts and is 2-1-0 while getting the call in the last three games and Pekka Rinne (17-12-3, .898) has not won consecutive contests since just before Christmas.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (30-21-5): Center Elias Pettersson, who leads the team with 23 goals and 55 points, returned to the lineup Saturday after missing one game with a lower-body injury but was a minus-2 without a shot on net. Forward J.T. Miller is two points shy of equalling his career high of 56 with the New York Rangers in 2016-17 and one goal from matching his best in both 2015-16 and 16-17. Quinn Hughes continues to make his case for a Calder Trophy with three goals and four assists in his last six games to tie Colorado’s Cale Makar for the league lead in points by a defenseman with 41 entering Sunday.
1. Nashville F Calle Jarnkrok (12 goals, 27 points) has missed the last five games due to illness and is day-to-day.
2. Vancouver G Jacob Markstrom (20-16-3, .914 SP) has allowed 13 goals in his last three games.
3. Predators Cs Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene each have just one point in the last four contests.
PREDICTION: Canucks 3, Predators 2