Potent power play propels Predators past Canucks

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

“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

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.

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“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.”