David Legwand and Martin Erat scored on Nashville's first two shots of the game and Ellis made 29 saves, lifting the Predators to their first road victory of the season -- 3-0 against the Canucks on Thursday night.
"To finally get that monkey off our backs and realize we can win on the road, that's it's not a curse or anything like that, it feels great," said Ellis, who was making his first road start after winning both his home games last week.
Nashville came in with three goals on the road all season. The Predators matched that total on their 15th shot when Jason Arnott scored on a power play with 8.6 seconds left in the game.
"It wasn't pretty -- that's for sure," said J.P. Dumont, who had two assists despite breaking his left ring finger Tuesday during Nashville's 5-1 loss in Calgary, the Predators' fifth consecutive road loss. "But it's our first win on the road and that's huge for us, so we'll take it."
Outshot 13-3 in the first period and 22-5 through 40 minutes, the Predators got another good game from their backup goaltender. It was the third start -- and third victory -- in four games for Ellis, who is playing more while No. 1 Chris Mason tries to overcome a seven-game losing streak.
He made a good save on Markus Naslund on a power play in the first period, and on Mattias Ohlund's shot from the high slot early in the third. He preserved the shutout with a point-blank stop of Brendan Morrison on a power play with 2:30 left.
"I'm happy to get the opportunity," said Ellis, a second-round draft pick by Dallas in 2001 who spent almost all of his first four seasons in the minors.
Now he has two shutouts in three starts with Nashville, and victories in all four career NHL starts, including one with the Stars in 2003-04.
"I'm a minor-league guy who just came up and I just want to stay here, really," he said. "I was in the minors for four years and you finally get the chance, you want to make a career of it and not just be a flash in the pan."
Roberto Luongo made 12 saves for the Canucks, who have one victory in seven games at home this season -- and one in their past five overall.
"It's obviously a tough time right now; we've been booed here for the past few games," Morrison said. "But fans pay a lot of money to come here and they have every right to do that."
Legwand opened the scoring on a power play 6:16 in, circling at the top of the faceoff circle to Luongo's left before firing a shot through his legs. It was the Predators' first lead on the road this season, and Erat doubled it on a breakaway two minutes later, sliding a backhand through Luongo's legs.
"It's seldom you're going to get two shots and score twice on a guy like Luongo," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Louie, I know him from Team Canada and I think he's the best goaltender in the National Hockey League."
The loss was costly for the Canucks -- defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo both left the game bleeding and didn't return. Bieksa left late in the second period after a skate cut across the back of his right calf when he was tangled up with Vern Fiddler. Bieksa left a trail of blood in the corner as he was helped off the ice, unable to put any weight on his right leg.
Salo left a pool of blood behind with four minutes left after teammate Alexander Edler's clearing attempt caught him flush in the face.
Both were taken to a local hospital, said coach Alain Vigneault, but there was no immediate word on the seriousness of the injuries or how long they might be out.
"With Kevin, we don't know the extent, but it's a major cut," Vigneault said, adding they would have to recall a defenseman from the AHL.
- Vancouver D Lukas Krajicek will be out four weeks with a fracture in his foot that was detected by an MRI after he slipped on a sidewalk, aggravating an injury originally suffered blocking a shot on Oct. 13.
- Nashville will play in Edmonton on Friday before wrapping up its current five-game road trip in Chicago and Detroit.
- Vancouver will play its next eight games within the Northwest Division.