Potent power play propels Predators past Canucks - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Potent power play propels Predators past Canucks

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators

put the man advantage to good use on Wednesday.

J.P. Dumont scored a power-play goal just over two minutes into

the third period to snap a tie as the Predators handed the

Vancouver Canucks their seventh straight defeat by rallying to a

5-3 triumph.

Captain Jason Arnott notched his 800th career point with his

team-leading 16th goal and Joel Ward, Martin Erat and David

Legwand also tallied for Nashville, which scored three

power-play goals in a game for the first time this season.

"In today's game, power plays and penalty-killing are usually

the difference in hockey games - specialty teams," Predators

left wing Steve Sullivan said. "I think tonight was a perfect

example of our power play getting three and our penalty-killing

doing a great job, only allowing one of their goals, 4-on-3. I

think definitely, specialty teams were the difference tonight."

Arnott credited the return of Sullivan for the team's ability to

convert man-advantage opportunities. Sullivan was playing in

his sixth game after missing nearly two years with a back

injury.

"It helps having him back, no question," Arnott said. "With him

moving around a lot, it frees up a lot of open ice, which gives

us more opportunities to shoot and we're not so stagnant

anymore. We're trying to move and find holes, and it worked out

tonight."

Defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Suter recorded two assists

apiece and rookie Pekka Rinne turned aside 27 shots for the

Predators, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

"A real character test and a testament to the guys in the room

that they wanted to get the win here and get this second half

started," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

"It's nice, but it's only one game," Predators All-Star

defenseman Shea Weber said. "There's been stretches where we've

lost a bunch and only won one, so we've got to get on a roll and

win a bunch."

Alex Burrows, Ryan Johnson and defenseman Sami Salo scored and

All-Star goaltender Roberto Luongo made 33 saves for Vancouver,

which lost its franchise-record eighth straight game at General

Motors Place.

"Well obviously, we're not happy with the results. I can tell

you each and every player and each and every member of this

staff is not happy with the results - and obviously, we all

think we can play better," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

"We have to find a way to play better. It's as simple as that."

"The effort is there. The preparation is there. Everything is

there," Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "For whatever

reason, we're just not getting results right now."

With the game tied at 3-3 at 2:01 of the third, Hamhuis' shot

was denied by Luongo. But Dumont tapped home the rebound from

the doorstep for his ninth goal of the season.

Although the Canucks registered 16 shots on goal in the third,

they were unable to solve Rinne.

Legwand scored an empty-netter with 55 seconds remaining in the

session to seal the win.

The Canucks built a 3-1 lead by scoring three goals in a span of

5:34 of the second period, but the Predators chipped away toward

the latter stages of the session.

With his team on the power play, Erat halved the deficit with

3:59 remaining, gathering a rebound and beating Luongo for his

12th goal of the season.

Arnott leveled the contest with 11 seconds remaining in the

session - and reached a personal milestone in the process.

With Vancouver's Mats Sundin serving a cross-checking penalty,

Arnott received a pass from Suter in the left faceoff circle and

fired a blast past Luongo to tie the game at 3-3.

"Was that my 800th tonight?" Arnott asked. "That's nice. I

didn't even know."

"When you're up, 3-1, with five minutes to go in the second

period, there's no way you should go into the locker room tied,"

Luongo said. "That's the second time it's happened here, and we

lost a couple of weeks (ago). Just got to make sure we do the

little things right - those are the things that end up hurting

us in the end."

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