The Vancouver Canucks came into Nashville and got two wins on the road to go up 3-1 in the series. They were able to knock off the Nashville Predators by a 4-2 score on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville came out hard for the first few minutes of the 1st period, but it was the Canucks who got on the board first. Christian Ehrhoff snuck one past Pekka Rinne from the point while Alex Burrows was screening in front. Rinne was livid that there was no goalie interfernce called. I'm 50/50 on whether or not it was.
Joel Ward would answer the Canucks with a power-play goal to tie the game at one. Cody Franson snapped a shot from the point which Ward tipped. Roberto Luongo made the original save, but Ward put his own rebound through to tie the game.
In the 2nd period, the Canucks would take the lead again when Alexander Edler put one through traffic from the point to put Vancouver up 2-1. Nashville had several opportunites to score in the 2nd period, but were thwarted by their own unwillingness to shoot the puck.
The Preds tied the game at two in the beginning of the 3rd period when Franson scored from the point. It was odd because nobody really knew the puck was in the net. The net didn't move, but it clearly went in. Eventually, everyone realized the puck was in and Bridgestone Arena went crazy.
However, the Canucks would strike later in the 3rd on a great goal by Ryan Kesler. Kesler drew a penalty to put the Canucks on the power-play when Ryan Suter drug him down from behind by his face. Kesler would take the puck on the rush and slide right between Shea Weber and Shane O'Brien to score the goal.
Nashville gave one last ditch effort to score, but never really had full possesion of the puck during the final few minutes. Henrik Sedin scored the empty netter to ice the game away for Vancouver.
Thoughts from Game 4:
It's going to be awfully tough for Nashville to come back in this series and win. The Canucks have all of the momentum right now, and will be looking not to make the same mistake they made in the 1st round by letting a team back in the series. Expect the Canucks to have a killer instinct on Saturday night.
Nashville has to shoot the puck. Plain and simple. Several shots were passed up by the majority of the Preds players on the ice tonight. Simply put, you can't score if you don't shoot.
Jerred Smithson left the game with an upper body injury and did not return. He is doubtful for Saturday night's Game 5.
Colin Wilson made his return to the lineup for the Preds, and showed a lot of jump. His ice time increased as the game went along. Be looking for him to get a further increase in ice time on Saturday.
This is it for the Preds. It's do or die. They have to focus on winning Game 5 before anyone even begins to think about Game 6.