VANCOUVER – Anders Lindback seems to have the Vancouver Canucks’ number.
The young Swede netminder came off the bench Thursday night and played well at Rogers Arena for the second time this season to backstop the Nashville Predators to a 6-5 victory.
“I think we realized we had to start playing better for our goaltender,” defenceman Shea Weber said after Lindback relieved Pekka Rinne at 10:29 of the second period.
He made several key saves to allow the Predators to come back and eventually beat the Canucks on Mike Fisher’s late goal with 1:16 left in regulation.
The Canucks had taken a 5-3 lead on 18 shots, but Lindback shut the door with 19 saves. When he replaced Rinne in Vancouver in a 5-1 Oct. 20 loss, he allowed only one goal on 24 shots.
In the third period he gave Nashville a chance to win with a pad save on Cody Hodgson, then denied Keith Ballard on his doorstep and foiled Dan Hamhuis’s spin move.
“I think the guys did a really good job of letting me handle the first pucks and took away the rebounds” said Lindback who didn’t mind another baptism by fire.
“It’s always nice to get a few (shots) right away. It’s a confidence boost, (you) get warm and feel the pucks. I felt good out there.”
Weber, whose Predators capitalized on all three of their chances on a power play, said they relied too much on their goaltenders while being outshot 37-20.
“I think even after (Lindback) came in we were still too loose defensively, but he made some big saves and we had some timely goals,” Weber said.
Fisher’s second goal of the night was the most timely.
He took Martin Erat’s pass and backhanded the puck over a sprawling Roberto Luongo with time running out.
“They were taking it to us late and we just got one chance and buried it,” Fisher said of the only goal of the final period.
“In the third period anything can happen and we just found a way.”
So did Lindback.
“He’s a young guy and he’s been solid for us,” Fisher said. “You don’t see a lot of him because of how good Pekka is but when we need him, he’s there.”
It was not a netminders’ night as the Predators, who lost 1-0 in Calgary on Tuesday, got away from their stifling defensive style.
They scored three times on five shots at Canuck backup Cory Schneider, who was making his seventh straight start and riding a five-game win streak with a goals-against average of 0.79.
Schneider didn’t get charged with the loss as Luongo gave up a two-goal lead.
Both Rinne and Luongo were Vezina trophy nominees last season.
“We deserved a better fate,” said Luongo who started the second period. “It was unfortunate they got that late goal on a pretty good play.
“I didn’t get much action, obviously, and they scored a couple of nice goals.”
David Legwand, Weber and Fisher staked Nashville to a 3-1 first-period lead while Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson tied the game 5-5 with goals 1:21 apart.
Nashville has scored eight power-play goals in its last seven games.
Hodgson, Daniel Sedin, Aaron Volpatti, with his first goal in 36 games, Alex Burrows and Jannick Hansen scored for the Canucks, who had two power-play goals.
It was an out-of-character game for both clubs. Last season they combined for only 14 goals in four games against each other.
The Predators, who had scored only five goals in their previous four games, improved to 12-9-4 with their second win in three games. Vancouver dropped to 14-10-1.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz wasn’t happy with his club getting into a scorefest with Vancouver.
“The positive is Anders was really good and that when things got turned about in the second (period) we were able to find a way to stay with it,” Trotz said.
Canuck coach Alain Vigneault said the game was fun for the fans but didn’t follow his game plan.
“It was an entertaining game without a doubt, not the way we had drawn it up,” Vigneault said.
“I liked everything about our game except for our penalty-killing and obviously both our goaltenders would probably like to have a couple of those back.”
Notes: Members of the Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions were brought on to the ice before the game … Canuck winger Mason Raymond missed a planned return from a serious back injury because of what a team official “paperwork with the league” … Vancouver defenceman Sami Salo was out after suffering a groin injury on Tuesday … Aaron Rome, back after four games with a hand injury, took his place on the blue-line … Luongo got the start when the two clubs met here Oct. 20 … it was the last of a five-game road trip for the Predators.