The Nashville Predators defeated the NHL leading Vancouver Canucks by a 3-1 score in front of a raucous crowd at Bridgestone Arena. The Canucks were unable to solve Pekka Rinne as he had another outstanding performance, stopping 35 of 36 shots.
Martin Erat got the scoring started for the Preds. He put in his own rebound at point blank range against Roberto Luongo. Daniel Sedin would respond with a power-play goal with for the Canucks to tie the game 1-1 at 18:15 of the 2nd period. The score would stay tied for a total of seven seconds. Nick Spaling roofed a nice backhander over Luongo to put the Preds up 2-1. Mike Fisher would add to the lead 49 seconds later when he tipped in an Alexander Sulzer shot from the point to put the Preds up 3-1. That was Fisher's first goal as a Predator.
The injury bug reared its ugly head again tonight for the Predators. Mike Fisher took a Ryan Suter shot to the face and needed stitches. Luckily, Fisher would return in the 2nd period. Marcel Goc was injured in the 2nd period and did not return the remainder of the night. According to reports from the locker room, Goc was seen walking around with his arm in a sling. That's not a good sign at all. Steve Sullivan was also drilled in the face with a puck, and had to be taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center for tests according to Josh Cooper. It seems the Preds are not destined to be healthy this year.
This was not a good game for the officials tonight. There were several calls that were terrible in this game, and the crowd let the refs know about it. Ryan Suter was called for interference when he was the one being ran into. Steve Sullivan was called for goaltender interference, and minutes later a Vancouver player did the exact same thing that Sully did an no call was made. It was not a good night for the officials, and I'm not normally one to criticize them in a blog post.
The crowd really did its part tonight. They were loud and into the game for a full 60 minutes. Another TV timeout standing ovation was given by the crowd, and it worked once again. The Preds are now 4/4 when those have been given this year.
With the win, Nashville sits in 4th place with 70 points. Saturday night, the Phoenix Coyotes come to town in a very important Western Conference matchup. I'll see you all at the Bridge!