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Vancouver at Nashville

Edler's power-play goal extends Canucks' mastery of Predators

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vancouver Canucks thought they played a hard, physical game in pulling out a tough road victory.

The Nashville Predators? They disagree -- strongly.

Defenseman Alexander Edler scored a power-play goal 24 seconds into the third period, and Vancouver pulled out a 3-1 victory against Nashville in a game the Predators counted three dangerous head shots.

"The league will handle it," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I'm trying to protect my players. There's two things that's unwritten. Don't go after the head, and you don't go after the knees. I think in the hockey code, I think they crossed the line a few times."

The Canucks had lost the first three games in the midst of a seven-game road trip that's their longest this season. With one game remaining before heading home, they now have won two of three while earning five of a possible six points.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault thought his team found a way to pull out a victory.

"The only thing I found special with calls in the game we were not allowed to hit them. Every time we threw a good, strong, clean hit, there was a scrum after. It is part of the game. It was a physical game. They took offense to some of the hits we threw," Vigneault said.

Pavol Demitra put Vancouver up 1-0 at 8:35 of the first. Kyle Wellwood found him with a cross-ice pass, and Demitra scored on a wrister past Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis stickside. Alex Burrows added an empty-netter with 44 seconds left for Vancouver, which has won five straight in this series and the first two this season.

Radek Bonk scored on a 5-on-3 for the Predators, who returned home angry after a sloppy 6-3 loss Monday night in St. Louis.

Their lone goal came on a 5-on-3 created when Vancouver was whistled for too many men on the ice with a player trying to jump back over the boards. Bonk scored his second this season by tapping the puck just inside the post off assists from Martin Erat and J.P. Dumont at 11:03.

The scoring was a sideshow to the hitting. The first came on Nashville forward Scott Nichol in the first period and knocked him out of the game with an upper-body injury.

Then at 5:12 of the second, Burrows left his feet and pushed his right elbow into Dumont's face, knocking him down. Jason Arnott went after Burrows and was given a game misconduct along with an instigator penalty and fighting major.

Burrows wasn't penalized, Vancouver defenseman Shane O'Brien was given a game misconduct and the Canucks wound up with the man advantage for seven minutes.

Arnott said he thought the NHL was cutting down on such hits. He was even more furious that Burrows was not penalized.

"I knew he left his feet. You see it on the replay, and he lands after he hits J.P. It's a blatant call, and there's two guys out there. I don't know how they didn't see that. Then the guy runs Webby (Shea Weber) from behind. He didn't need to hit Webby like that, from behind, run his head into the glass," Arnott said.

Burrows said he didn't see the replay but thought his hit on Dumont was clean.

"I don't want to injure the guy. I know the guy. We work out together in the summer. That is the last thing I want to do," Burrows said.

The Predators killed it off as the teams skated through the entire seven-minute power play. Fans erupted into a standing ovation when Ellis stopped Steve Bernier from in front and then covered the puck as Mason Raymond tried to knock in the rebound.

Kevin Bieksa missed a shot within the opening minute of the third, Daniel Sedin slid and poked the rebound over to Edler in the right circle, and he scored his second for the 2-1 lead.

"Daniel made an unbelievable pass," Edler said. "He had two guys on him and passed it behind his back. I had an empty net, so that is not a very hard shot for me."

Nashville had two power-play chances inside the final 11 minutes, but goalie Curtis Sanford protected the lead.

Notes

  • Nashville right wing Jordin Tootoo was scratched from his first game this season with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day.
  • The Predators dropped to 3-2-0 in the second of back-to-back games.
  • Demitra now has 38 career points in 41 games played against Nashville.
  • The Canucks improved to 5-1-0 against the Predators, 11-8-1 in Nashville.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Vancouver goalie Curtis Sanford gets physical with Nashville center Jerred Smithson in the third.  (AP)
Vancouver goalie Curtis Sanford gets physical with Nashville center Jerred Smithson in the third. (AP)
Scoreboard
Vancouver  (16-10-3) «1023
Nashville (14-12-2)1001
Three Stars
A. Edler
VAN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
D. Ellis
NSH


Saves: 25
Save Pct.: .926
P. Demitra
VAN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
08:35Pavol Demitra (8), Tip-In. Assist: Wellwood
11:03Power Play - Radek Bonk (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Erat, Dumont
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
24.0Power Play - Alexander Edler (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Sedin, Bieksa
19:16Alexandre Burrows (8), Empty Net. Assist: Kesler
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:14Davison, 2 min, Hooking
09:08Burrows, 2 min, Roughing
10:21Hansen, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
15:06Jaffray, 5 min, Fighting
15:06Peverley, 5 min, Fighting
15:06Davison, 2 min, Roughing
15:06Klein, 2 min, Roughing
15:06Klein, 2 min, Roughing
18:55Kesler, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
2ND PERIOD
02:55Belak, 2 min, Hooking
05:19Arnott, 5 min, Fighting
05:19O'Brien, 10 min, Misconduct
05:19Arnott, 2 min, Instigator
05:19Arnott, 10 min, Misconduct
14:43Erat, 2 min, Hooking
17:24Weber, 2 min, Roughing
17:24Kesler, 5 min, Boarding
17:24Weber, 2 min, Roughing
20:00Pihlstrom, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
09:14Edler, 2 min, Interference
15:01Pyatt, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Vancouver1010828
Nashville741021
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Curtis Sanford59:44201
Dan Ellis59:05252
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Vancouver1-for-6
Nashville1-for-7
Game Information
Attendance - 12441
Referees - Mike Leggo, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Steve Barton, Tony Sericolo
 
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