Predators-Canucks Preview

Improved defensive play has helped the Vancouver Canucks put together their longest winning streak in 11 months.

A return home could keep them rolling.

Seeking a fifth straight win, the Canucks look to continue their success against the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

Vancouver (8-3-0) has allowed seven goals during a four-game winning streak, a major improvement after surrendering 18 while losing three of the previous four.

The Canucks' current run is their longest since winning seven straight games from Dec. 1-14, and they may like their chances of moving closer to that mark.

They've won four of five at home, and are 5-1-0 in their last six overall meetings with Nashville after winning 2-0 behind Eddie Lack's 30 saves in the most recent March 19.

Lack could get a second career start against the Predators since Ryan Miller, who had 25 saves in Saturday's 3-2 win at Edmonton, has yet to start on back-to-back days. Still, Miller has won five straight starts with a 1.59 goals-against average, and has won three in a row against Nashville behind a 1.33 mark.

Lack owns a 5.63 GAA while losing two starts this season.

Offensively, the Canucks are showing some strong depth after getting goals from Luca Sbisa, Linden Vey and Derek Dorsett on Saturday. Dorsett's short-handed tally in the third period was his first with Vancouver, and the decisive score after the top line of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Radim Vrbata were held off the score sheet.

"The Sedin line, they carried us a lot on the first few games of the year and I think we are starting to get some offensive play from all four lines now," said Dorsett, who has two assists in two games. "We have said since training camp that we wanted to be a four-line team. If we can do that night in and night out, it will win us a lot of games."

Facing Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne also seems to work.

He's 1-4-1 with a 3.96 GAA in his past eight regular-season meetings with the Canucks, and has been pulled from all three of his road starts over that stretch, surrendering 13 goals on 46 shots.

That's prompted Nashville (6-2-2) to turn to backup Carter Hutton in last season's two matchups at Vancouver. He split them while stopping 53 of 56 shots.

Rinne, though, may get the nod this time since he's 6-2-1 with a 1.97 GAA on the season.

He surrendered three goals in a span of 4:01 of the third period while finishing with 26 saves in Friday's 4-3 loss at Calgary, as Nashville split the first two of a season-high six-game trip.

"In this league, if a team hangs around long enough and gets a few bounces, they're right back in it and it gives themselves some life. It's just that 6 minutes in that third period where they got some life and we just couldn't get it back," left wing James Neal said. "Other than that, I liked the way we play on the road."

Neal is adjusting fine with Nashville after being acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh during the summer. He leads the team with seven goals after netting two against the Flames, and he's managed one point in seven of eight career visits to Vancouver.

The Predators will be without defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who has been suspended four games for an illegal check to the head of Calgary forward Michael Ferland.

Promoted Stories

More NHL