Pettersson scores twice, Canucks beat Predators 5-3
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson put on show to celebrate his 21st birthday with 12 family members and friends watching in the crowd.
Pettersson scored two goals and the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game winless streak with a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
“It’s great to get a win again,” said Pettersson, who has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in his lasts 12 games. “It’s really nice to score goals.”
Tanner Pearson also scored twice for Vancouver, his second into an empty net. Adam Gaudette also scored for the Canucks (10-6-3), who are 1-3-1 in their last five.
Vancouver scored three times on the power play.
“It’s only one night but it’s really good when the power play scores,” said Pettersson. “That won us the game. We have to bring it the next game and hopefully score some goals.”
Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund and Calle Jarnkrok scored for the Predators (9-6-3).
Forsberg was frustrated by Nashville’s overall performance.
“It’s not good enough,” he said. “It’s a little inconsistent. We’re not OK with that.”
The teams combined for six goals in a wild third period.
“It was really competitive in the first and I thought they had the better of us,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “The last two periods, I thought we took over the game, but the difference was the special teams.”
Pettersson’s first goal came at 6:09 of the third. With the Canucks on a power play, Pettersson knocked down an attempted clearing pass with his chest. He gained control of the puck, took a couple of strides and sent a shot over the glove of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Pettersson’s second of the game, and eighth of the season, came off the rebound on a rush at 11:41.
Granlund tipped a Mattias Ekholm shot past Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko at 8:35. Then Forsberg scored his ninth of the season on a one-timer at 14:26.
Demko made 34 saves for the Canucks. Rinne stopped 21 shots for Nashville.
The teams exchanged goals during a second period in which the Predators outshot the Canucks 19-7.
Pearson opened the scoring for Vancouver just 85 seconds into the period on a power play. Gaudette fed a streaking Pearson the puck and he beat Rinne on the blocker side for his third goal of the season and first in 15 games.
Jarnkrok tied the game at 13:35. Matt Duchene fired a shot that Demko stopped but gave up a rebound. Jarnkrok put the loose puck into the net for his sixth of the year.
After giving up the early goal, the Predators controlled much of the play and peppered Demko. The Vancouver goalie faced a pair of breakaways in a 20-second span. First, Craig Smith put a shot over the net, then Demko blocked a Mikael Granlund shot.
The Predators used their big, mobile defense to help create offense.
“It’s something you kind of have to be aware of,” Demko said. “They like to get in the rush and are really active.
“I thought we handled it really well. Guys were boxing out, letting me see pucks. Wingers closed on them quick, limiting their time and space.”
Canuck coach Travis Green liked the resilience his team showed.
Vancouver started the game without center Jay Beagle, who is out with an undisclosed injury, then lost center Brandon Sutter early in the first period.
“That was a gutsy effort by our team all the way around,” said Green. “We talked to our group before the game that we are going to need all hands on-deck, to bring their best.
“That (Nashville) is a good team and that was a big win.”
NOTES: Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom announced on social media Sunday that his father had died in Sweden. ... Lui Eriksson was in the Vancouver lineup. ... Nashville defenseman Dante Fabbro, a native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, played his first game in Vancouver and had over 100 family and friends in attendance. ... Actor Bill Murry attended the game.
Predators: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Canucks: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday in the third game of a four-game homestand.