Predators 3, Canucks 0: Hahahamhuis

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 3: Alexandre Burrows #14 of the Vancouver Canucks is stopped in close by goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators while Jerred Smithson #25 looks on during the second period in NHL action on March 03, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Predators and Canucks went back and forth. Through the first period, each team mounted failed offensive drive after drive, getting caught in the neutral zone. It was a pretty typical Preds-style slog. The second period opened up a little bit when Nashville failed to burry about 4 great chances on the power play. The Canucks answered with inexplicable open-net misses on their own man-advantage. 16:00 into the second, Mason Raymond bounced a glorious chance of the intersection of the crossbar and post, and Jordin Tootoo rang Roberto Luongo's crossbar less than a minute later on a similar play. 

Blake Geoffrion finally ended the deadlock 1:59 into the third with his second career goal. On a play that closely mirrored Geoffrion's first goal, Jordin Tootoo fed him beautifully from behind the net. Geoffrion simply went to the blue paint and kept his stick on the ice, which seems simple, but has eluded many veteran Predators for the better part of the last month. 

With 3 minutes to go, Patric Hornqvist caused a classic Dan Hamhuis turnover in the open ice of the Canuck's zone and buried his shot with a sweet deke on Luongo. David Legwand buried an empty-netter in the game's final minute. 

All in all, it was a solid, typical game for the Predators--the type of game that makes Canadians whine and gives Rinne a chance to win.  More reaction after the jump...

The Predators rolled out the following forward lines tonight:

  • 10-11-29
  • 11-12-27
  • 74-12-27
  • 33-5-24
  • 13-25-22
  • 74-12-10
  • 74-11-10
  • 74-11-27
  • 10-12-29
  • 13-25-24

The bolded lines seemed to stick and are the best bets to reprise in the next few games. Legwand-Kostitsyn seemed to have more chemistry than Fisher-Kostitsyn, as their puck-support complemented a bit better. Joel Ward took on the responsibilities of a power-forward and played admirably. In his place, Tootoo slotted into the checking line and played really, really well--forechecking, skating, battling on the boards, shooting, and creating all sorts of trouble. 

Other notes:

  • Cody Franson went hard into the boards in a race for an icing. He seemed to roll his ankle or knee and hobbled back to the bench. No patently vague update from the team, yet. 
  • If the Predators make the playoffs and if they face the Canucks, I expect David Legwand to pick Dan Hamhuis apart. I wrote this thought in my notebook before the Hornqvist goal, too. 
  • Former Vancouver Giants Blum and Franson seemed a lot more dynamic on the power play and Weber and Suter. Maybe demote Suter to PP2? 
  • Pekka Rinne made some Jedi Master saves tonight, going no-look with his toe, head, and shoulder. 
  • lol Hamhuis
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