Nashville at Vancouver

Geoffrion goal all Rinne needs to blank Canucks

CBSSports.com wire reports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Blake Geoffrion is too busy trying to make the playoffs with the Nashville Predators to worry about making NHL history himself.

Geoffrion broke a scoreless tie 1:59 into the third period, Pekka Rinne stopped 29 shots and Nashville beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Thursday.

It's been a big week for 23-year-old rookie, who scored his first NHL goal in his third career game Tuesday in Edmonton after becoming the first Tennessee native and the first fourth-generation player to make the NHL.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1p-Chicago487730
2y-Anaheim486624
3y-Vancouver485921
4x-St. Louis486024
5x-Los Angeles485925
6x-San Jose485717
7x-Detroit485622
8x-Minnesota485522
Eliminated
9o-Columbus485519
10o-Phoenix485117
11o-Dallas484820
12o-Edmonton484517
13o-Calgary484219
14o-Nashville484114
15o-Colorado483914
Complete Playoff Race >>

Geoffrion's dad, Danny, played 111 NHL games, and both his grandfather, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, and great grandfather, Howie Morenz, are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"It's been a whirlwind," Geoffrion said. "I try not to think about it too much with what's on the line here and making the playoffs and it's so tight. I'll think about all that stuff after the year and take it all in then."

Geoffrion's decisive goal moved Nashville back into a playoff position at the bottom of the tight Western Conference.

He parked atop the crease unchecked and quickly snapped Jordin Tootoo's pass from the corner behind the net in before Roberto Luongo could get across his crease. Geoffrion was quick to credit Tootoo -- for both the pass and for helping settle him down in his first NHL week.

"I just stopped in front and Toots made one heck of a pass, a little sauce pass over the stick and I buried it," Geoffrion said. "My first two games I was pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie to you. I was kind of cautious with the puck and kind of scared to make plays but Toots helped me out, just kind of told me to relax and make plays and don't worry about making mistakes."

Patric Hornqvist added an insurance goal with 2:21 left and David Legwand scored into an empty net as Nashville won for just the second time in seven games (2-4-1) to jump from 10th to a tie for seventh in the West -- one point out of ninth.

"It already feels like the playoffs for us," Rinne said.

Luongo made 26 saves for the Canucks, who have alternated between a win and a loss for 12th consecutive games.

Vancouver remains atop the NHL standings, three points ahead of Philadelphia, and four up on Detroit in the West.

"They've been different types of games, I don't think there's really a pattern there," Luongo said. "Just because we win or lose I don't think it's because we played good or bad. They just made less mistakes than we did."

Rinne, starting for the 19th time in 20 games, won a battle between two of the NHL's top statistical stoppers by posting his fifth shutout, though both goalies went through prolonged stretches of inactivity in a tight-checking game.

"As long as we win the game, but obviously it feels good to have a shutout in this building against one of the top teams," Rinne said.

Rinne made a desperation save to take an empty net away from Daniel Sedin 11 minutes in, rolling over on his back after being faked to the ice and throwing out his glove arm. He also got a break when Mason Raymond rang a backhand off the post late in the second period, and Henrik Sedin shot a power-play rebound through the crease and off the far post two minutes after Geoffrion scored.

"Got a little bit lucky," Rinne said. "And in the first, one of the Sedins had a wide-open chance and I just made a snow angel, and it happened to hit me."

Tootoo, who also hit the post on a 2-on-1 late in the second period, helped put them ahead with some good work on the forecheck. It was his first point in six games since missing almost two months in the NHL's substance abuse and behavioral health program.

"I definitely am feeling a lot better," Tootoo said. "When you're away from the game for that long it takes a little while to get back in the swing of things. I thought I had one of my better games."

Hornqvist finally gave Rinne some breathing room by stealing the puck from Dan Hamhuis, walking in alone and deking Luongo for his team-leading 18th goal.

"We're used to those 1-0, 2-0 games," captain Shea Weber said.

Notes

  • There was only one referee for the second half of the game after Justin St. Pierre sprained his ankle in the second period.
  • Geoffrion's dad, Danny, scored his last NHL goal in Vancouver almost 30 years ago, on April 1, 1981.
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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Pekka Rinne stops Alexandre Burrows with a skate save at the base of the left post to earn his fifth shutout. (Getty Images)
Pekka Rinne stops Alexandre Burrows with a skate save at the base of the left post to earn his fifth shutout. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Nashville  (33-23-9) «0033
Vancouver (40-16-9)0000
Three Stars
P. Rinne
NSH


Saves: 29
Save Pct.: 1.000
R. Luongo
VAN


Saves: 26
Save Pct.: .929
J. Tootoo
NSH


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
01:59 - Blake Geoffrion (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Tootoo, Klein
17:39 - Patric Hornqvist (18), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
19:25 - David Legwand (11), Empty Net. Assist: Erat, Ward
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:20O'Brien, 2 min, High-Sticking
2ND PERIOD
03:23Hansen, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
02:48Hornqvist, 2 min, Tripping
05:39Ballard, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
Shots On Goal
 123T
NSH891229
VAN1161229
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Pekka Rinne60:00290
Roberto Luongo58:36262
Game Information
Attendance - 18860
Referees - Dave Jackson, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Andy McElman, Michel Cormier
 
Other Games
TB 1 Final
Bos 2
Buf 2 Final
OT
Car 3
Tor 3 Final
Phi 2
StL 2 Final
Wash 3
Min 3 Final
NYR 1
Ott 3 Final
Atl 1
Mon 4 Final
Fla 0
Colu 2 Final
Edm 4
Pho 0 Final
LA 1
Det 1 Final
SJ 3