Predators-Canucks: Vancouver Rebounds with Hard-Fought Win in Nashville

Joel LefevreAnalyst IDecember 9, 2008

A road trip that has seen its share of lows so far had a positive turn Tuesday as the Canucks were able to outlast the Predators 3-1 in Nashville. 

While the win was anything but pretty, the Canucks will take this one, as they desperately needed this win to instill some confidence back in this team. 

Since losing Luongo to injury, the Canucks had gone 2-6 going into this contest, so earning two points was essential. 

Pavol Demitra got things going in the first with his eighth goal of the season from Kyle Wellwood before Bonk tied it a few minutes later for Nashville on a 5-on-3 power play.

The Canucks got a rare chance in the middle frame to really take control, but they wasted a seven-minute power play and after two, nothing was settled.

Alex Edler got the winner 24 seconds into the third period on the power play to help the Canucks start the third on the right foot.

Curtis Sanford held the fort from there, stopping 10 shots in the final frame and 20 altogether with his fourth win of the season.  Alex Burrows scored into an empty net with 44 seconds left to seal the win. 

The game, even without Tootoo in the lineup, was a very mean-spirited affair.  Preds captain Jason Arnott was given a game misconduct in the second along with a fighting major and an instigator penalty for retaliating to an Alex Burrows' elbow on JP Dumont. 

To make matters worse, they already lost Scott Nicol earlier in the game to an upper-body injury. 

The Canucks have now won their last five games against the Predators dating back to last season.

With the win, the Canucks move back into first place in the division thanks to a 4-1 loss by Calgary to Montreal.

The Canucks close out their road trip with a prime time  HNIC match-up with the Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday.  Of note, Luongo skated with the Canucks Tuesday and could be back with the Canucks as soon as next week.