The Nashville Predators made their way to Vancouver on Saturday night looking for a win but the Canucks ended the Preds 14-game point streak. The Preds were in a 2-0 hole at the end of the first period. Vancouver scored two goals in less than two minutes during the last three minutes of the period.
Nashville was able to get back into the match during the second period. Mike Fisher netted his 11th goal of the season at 9:17 to pull the Preds to within one score. Vancouver responded with their own goal at 10:35 to regain a two goal lead. The back-and-forth action was more evident as the Preds would push the Canucks to get their lead back to one goal when Colton Sissons scored at 16:20. The second period ended with Vancouver ahead 3-2.
The third period was a struggle for Nashville. With 16 shots on goal during the final period, the Predators were throwing whatever they could at Ryan Miller but the Canucks goaltender was having one of his better outings of the season. The Predators pulled Pekka Rinne for the extra skater and at 19:11 Daniel Sedin scored the empty-net goal to give Vancouver the 4-2 win.
Keys to Watch
McDavid Playing Well
In the last 21 games since returning from injury, Connor McDavid has 23 points and has produced as the player with the hype going into last year’s draft. In the last five games, his point production has slowed down, somewhat. During this span, McDavid has two goals and one assist, but is still producing for his squad. The Nashville defense will need to keep a handle on the Richmond Hill, ON, Canada native. The hype is showing to be accurate as a point per game player. The 19-year old phenom is dangerous with, or without the puck and has the ability to score at any point.
The Nashville Predators power-play has been atrocious over the last four matches. Nashville is 0-for-14 over this span with their last power-play goal coming against the New Jersey Devils on March 3rd, a match where they went 2-for-2 with the man-advantage. Nashville was 0-for-3 against the Canucks, 0-for-2 against the Flames on March 9th, 0-for-5 against the Jets on March 8th, and 0-for-4 against the Avalanche on March 5th. The Preds need to figure out a way to get more production with an extra-skater. With the possibility of the playoffs emerging, the Predators need to get clicking on all cylinders. It is imperative to go into the month of April playing your best hockey or it could be a long summer.
Defensive Scoring Missing
The Nashville Predators pride their style of play to include defensive pairs that can score as well as the forwards. Roman Josi and Shea Weber are getting their chances and have six points in the last five games between the two players. Nashville needs more production from Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. In the last five games, these two only have two total points. The Predators need more scoring from their defensive pairings, especially from Ellis and Ekholm. Additional scoring from your defensive corps adds to the offensive danger and the opposing team to account for more than just the scoring forwards on the ice.
The Nashville Predators will look to get back on track as they conclude their current road trip in Edmonton tonight. The Predators have done traditionally well against Edmonton and will look for the season sweep against the Oilers. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 8:00 pm!