Markstrom sharp as Canucks top Predators
Jacob Markstrom stopped 36 shots, and Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each had a goal and an assist to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday night.
Zack MacEwen, Brandon Sutter, Jordie Benn and Jake Virtanen also scored on a night Vancouvber retired the numbers of former stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Quinn Hughes had three assists to take over the lead in the rookie scoring race with 44 points as the Canucks ended a four-game losing streak.
Craig Smith and Mikael Granlund scored for the Predators. Pekka Rinne lasted just 20:58, giving up four goals on 17 shots in his first appearance in four games. Juuse Saros stopped 13 of 15 shots the rest of the way.
With Brock Boeser on injured reserve after suffering an upper-body injury in the Canucks’ loss to Calgary on Saturday, Vancouver coach Travis Green juggled his lines on Monday in hopes of inspiring a group that had gone 0-3-1 in its last four games.
The move paid dividends early as MacEwen opened the scoring at 7:06 of the first by taking a pass in the slot from Miller and firing it past Rinne.
Vancouver added two more goals in the next seven minutes. Sutter deflected a shot by Pettersson past Rinne during a power play before Benn drifted in a shot from the point for his first goal in a Canucks uniform.
Just 58 seconds into the second, Pettersson picked up his 24th, ending Rinne’s night.
The momentum started to shift when Tyler Myers took an extra cross-checking penalty when he and Austin Watson dropped the gloves at 5:01 of the second. The Predators spoiled Markstrom’s shutout bid when Smith scored his 13th during the ensuing power play. Granlund jumped on a loose puck 66 seconds later to make the score 4-2.
For the next several minutes, the Predators continued to apply pressure. Markstrom faced 19 shots in the second period, making spectacular saves on Rocco Grimaldi, Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Colton Sissons to help protect his team’s lead.
Vancouver restored its three-goal lead with two minutes left in the second, when Hughes’ shot from the blue line bounced off Miller’s knee and past Saros into the net.
Tempers flared early in the third as Sissons ran over Markstrom in his crease, drawing a goaltender interference penalty. The Canucks rounded out the scoring as Hughes fed Virtanen for another power-play goal, 2:32 into the third.
Former Canucks captains Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund were all on hand Monday for Legends Night. ... The Canucks unveiled a new Legends Locker Room interactive exhibit in the Rogers Arena concourse on Monday morning. … The Sedins were on hand to take in the game, and received a standing ovation when they were introduced to the crowd. ... The Canucks wore their black skate retro jerseys against Nashville for the final time this season. ... RW Justin Bailey played his first game as a member of the Canucks after being signed as a free agent last summer.
Predators: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Canucks: Host Chicago on Wednesday night.
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