Phillip Di Giuseppe and Nils Hoglander scored goals early in the second period to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Ilya Mikheyev also scored, and Thatcher Demko made 15 saves for Vancouver, winners of two straight. The Canucks wrapped up a five-game road trip with three wins and two losses.
“Really impressive effort, I thought,” Demko said. “I’m really proud of the guys.”
Colton Sissons and Kiefer Sherwood scored and Juuse Saros made 21 saves for Nashville, which had its two-game winning streak snapped.
“Credit to them, I thought they trapped extremely hard,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said. “They did to us what we would have liked to do them. They deserved to win. We didn’t deserve to be in that game.”
Mikheyev scored the game’s first goal at 4:29 of the opening period with a wrist shot from the high slot that deflected off the stick of Predators defenceman Roman Josi and over Saros’s left shoulder.
Sissons answered for Nashville with a wrist shot from the right circle underneath the crossbar on the far side at 15:38 of the first.
Vancouver came out strong in the second period with Di Giuseppe scoring 22 seconds in and Hoglander following at 3:11.
“It’s good to get them in a good sequence and put them on their heels for a bit,” Di Giuseppe said. “But then I think they pushed pretty hard and got some o-zone time against us.”
Sherwood drew Nashville to within a goal at 9:18 of the second, converting on a one-timer from the top of the left circle off of a cross-ice feed from Tommy Novak on a 3-on-2 Nashville rush.
“We’ve got to figure out our starts because we’re clawing our way back,” Sherwood said.
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After posting just one assist in Nashville’s first five games of the season, Sherwood has two goals and an assist in the last two games.
There was just one penalty called through 2.5 periods in the game. After a first-period Vancouver too many men on the ice call, the Predators had two opportunities on the power play late in the third.
Nashville did not score on any of its three power plays. The Predators went 5-for-12 with the man advantage over their previous three games.
“Our penalty kill was really good,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. “You give back-to-back penalties with four or five minutes left, and you are overusing guys.”
Nashville was whistled for just one penalty in the game, and Vancouver failed to score on that power play.
By largely staying out of the penalty box, the Predators kept Vancouver’s hot power play off the ice.
The Canucks entered Tuesday with the NHL’s third-ranked power play, connecting at 37.5 per cent.
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