A recent lack of finish caught up with the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night at Rogers Arena as the Nashville Predators clawed their way back into the series with a come-from-behind 2-1 double OT victory.
Nashville forward Matt Halischuk scored the winner and goaltender Pekka Rinne made 32 saves to outshine Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, despite the 44 saves made by the Canucks keeper.
The Canucks were fortunate to have a 1-0 lead late in the 3rd, but Nashville needed a stroke of luck to tie the game. Defenseman Ryan Suter scored with 67 seconds left on a lucky bank shot from behind the net to bring the game into overtime, and Rinne took over from there in making several sensational stops to set up Halischuk’s winner.
Alex Burrows did his share of heroics in scoring the Canucks lone goal, but the rest of the team continues to struggle offensively. Daniel and Henrik Sedin have only one point each in the last five games.
“You want to score more goals, that’s the bottom line,” Henrik said to Canucks.com. “We have to bear down on the chances we get, in overtime too we had a lot of chances to finish it off. That’s something we need to take a look at.”
Not only are the Sedin twins struggling to score, their sudden lack of creativity has left them spending much of their shifts chasing the opposition in the defensive end of the ice.
“They’re our top players and obviously we need them to perform like top players,” said Canucks Head Coach Alain Vigneault on the play of the Sedins. “I know they’re working real hard, sometimes you’ve got to give the opposition some credit.”
The Predators deserve the credit – considering they out-shot, out-skated and outplayed the Canucks for much of this game.
“Tonight we played Predator hockey,” said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. “Our work ethic was there, we had a lot more detail and I thought in the regulation, the majority of the play we had the better chances. We just couldn’t convert.”
Vancouver seemingly woke up after Nashville tied the game, but couldn’t score in overtime after falling asleep for much of the third period.
“We’re not happy with that. We realize it’s a 60 minute game and for whatever reason we’re not getting the job done towards the end of the game,” said Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa. “The responsibility is for us to bear.”
The Canucks now travel to Nashville to face the Preds for Game 3 Tuesday night.