Canucks end Predators' point streak at 14 games with 4-2 win
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) In a season marred by third-period collapses, Ryan Miller felt like the Vancouver Canucks finally got a bounce.
Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist and the Vancouver Canucks beat Nashville 4-2 Saturday night to snap the Predators' franchise-record 14-game point streak.
Miller's best stop of the night came 5 minutes into the third when he stretched to make a toe save on James Neal's rebound effort with his team clinging to a 3-2 lead.
''That's a little bit of desperation where it hits the inside of my foot and stays out instead of skipping under,'' Miller said. ''That's a little bit of luck ... and maybe due for it, too.''
Vancouver came in just 15-4-7 when leading after 40 minutes, by far the worst mark in the NHL, but weathered the storm as the Predators threw 33 shots at Miller over the final two periods.
''We just knew it was going to be a tough night,'' Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. ''They're a good team and you can see why they were on that streak.''
Sven Baertschi, Derek Dorsett and Daniel Sedin also scored for Vancouver, and Ryan Miller made 35 saves. Alexandre Burrows and Radim Vrbata chipped in with two assists each.
Mike Fisher and Colton Sissons scored for Nashville, which got 24 stops from Pekka Rinne.
''They've been playing really well as of late,'' said Horvat, who scored his first in 14 games. ''We played a great hockey team tonight.''
Roman Josi added two assists for the Predators, who entered on a 9-0-5 run and had not lost in regulation since Feb. 9, the longest active run in the NHL.
Despite the loss, Nashville still occupies the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, seven points up on Minnesota and Colorado. Vancouver, meanwhile, is eight points back of the Wild and Avalanche.
''Today was just bad. We didn't work hard in the first period,'' Josi said. ''There's no effort and that just can't happen. It was the worst first period in a long time for us. We just didn't battle.''
Trailing 2-0 after a first period in which the Canucks carried play, the Predators came out with renewed vigor in the second and got on the board at 9:17 following a Vancouver turnover when Josi fed Fisher in the slot for his 11th of the season.
But the Canucks got that one back just 1:18 later off the rush when Yannick Weber fired a shot from the right side that bounced in off Horvat for his 11th after Rinne made the initial save.
The Predators responded with 3:40 left in the period when Josi wheeled through the neutral zone, played a give-and-go with Austin Watson and found Sissons alone in front for his third.
Nashville outshot Vancouver 17-8 in the second and kept coming in the third.
Miller stretched to make a great toe save on James Neal's rebound effort to keep his team ahead 5 minutes into the third with the teams playing 4-on-4.
That was as close as the visitors came before Sedin scored his 26th into an empty net with under a minute to go in regulation.
The Canucks dominated the first, outshooting the Predators 13-4, and were rewarded with two late goals to take a 2-0 lead to the locker rooms.
Baertschi opened the scoring with 2:16 left when he fought off Shea Weber in front to swipe a rebound off the end boards past Rinne for his 14th.
Dorsett then doubled Vancouver's advantage with 58.3 seconds remaining after taking a nice no-look feed from Horvat before burying his fourth of the season and first in 30 games.
The Canucks promoted rookie winger Jake Virtanen to the top line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin for the first time since preseason, but the 19-year-old was involved in an early fight and spent 7 minutes of the opening period in the penalty box.
NOTES: Dorsett's last goal before Saturday was on Dec. 20 against Florida. ... Henrik Sedin returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. ... Vancouver continues a four-game homestand on Monday against Winnipeg. Nashville wraps up a five-game trip the same night in Edmonton.