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Vancouver Canucks 2, Nashville Predators 0

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 12:34 AM CT / News
By Kevin Woodley  - NHL.com Correspondent
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Vancouver Canucks 2, Nashville Predators 0

VANCOUVER -- Rookie Nicklas Jensen continued to provide a much-needed spark for the Vancouver Canucks' offense.

Jensen snapped a scoreless tie 6:06 into the third period and Alexander Edler added a power-play goal 1:13 later to lead the Canucks to a 2-0 win against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena.

Goalie Eddie Lack made 30 saves for his rookie-leading fourth shutout of the season as the Canucks (32-30-10) moved within three points of the Phoenix Coyotes in the race for the second Western Conference wild-card position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vancouver has 10 games left in the regular season; the Coyotes have 13 and the Dallas Stars, who are one point ahead of the Canucks, have 14 games to play.

Goaltender Carter Hutton started for the Predators one night after replacing Pekka Rinne midway through the third period of a 5-1 loss against the Edmonton Oilers, and finished with 20 saves.

Nashville's third straight loss dropped the Predators (29-31-10) six points behind Vancouver and nine behind the Coyotes for the second wild-card spot.

Captain Henrik Sedin assisted on both goals as Vancouver alternated between wins and losses for a seventh straight game.

Jensen opened the scoring after Sedin lost the puck in the slot, only to see it bounce right to the rookie forward inside the right faceoff dot for a quick wrist shot that went over Hutton's glove. It was Jensen's third goal in four games, and his fifth point in seven games since being called up from the American Hockey League and put on the top line.

The goal may have been costly, however, as linemate Alexandre Burrows threw off his left glove after appearing to take a slash from Shea Weber as the puck went into the net. Burrows, who snapped a 35-game goal drought with five goals in the past four games after Jensen was put on his line, went straight to the dressing room and did not return.

Edler doubled the lead on Vancouver's first power play, with Sedin winning the ensuing faceoff after Victor Bartley was called for interference. Kevin Bieksa fed the puck across to Edler for a one-timer that beat Hutton low on the glove side.

Rinne had started seven of eight games after returning from a hip infection that kept him out of the lineup more than four months.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto was a surprise healthy scratch as the Predators shook up their lineup, including four new forward lines, after the lopsided loss to the last-place Oilers on Tuesday.

Nashville lost center Paul Gaustad to an upper-body injury late in the first period. Gaustad appeared to hit his head on the ice after being taken down by Edler on a partial break. Gaustad, who has nine goals and 16 points in 70 games, was slow to get up, then went straight to the dressing room and did not return.

The Canucks, coming off a four-game road trip that ended with a 4-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, needed 8:27 to record their first shot and were outshot 14-7 in the first period. Lack was forced to make his best three saves on Patric Hornqvist, including a couple of great point-blank chances late in the period.

Hutton answered while the Predators were being outshot 11-7 in the second period, throwing out his right pad to rob Burrows in tight, and was working on his first NHL shutout until Jensen sparked the third-period outburst.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33