Predators 3, Canucks 4: Luuuuuuuusing Sucks

It was the battle of two top-three power plays and the winning team went 1-1 on the man advantage, the losers 0-4. Go figure.

Vancouver's lone power play tally was the first goal of the game, as Ryan Kesler scored on a one-timer at 11:42. Frustratingly, Pekka was square Kesler on the play, but still couldn't make the save. Colin Wilson answered quickly, though, at 13:47, walking into the Canucks zone 1-on-2, scoring through the tiny space between Luongo's left arm and body.

Tied, and with their second power play chance late in the period, the Predators looked in good shape, but they promptly dug a nice-sized hole for themselves, allowing two goals in the final 100 seconds of the period. The recently recalled Byron Bitz, who had all of one goal this season in the AHL, scored his first of the year on an odd-man rush created by a bad Preds' change. Bitz added his first assist of the season a few seconds later, when Henrik Sedin beat Francis Bouillon to the front of the net.

To their immense credit, the Predators stuck to the system, confident they had mostly outplayed the Cancuks for 18 minutes of the first. After a productive shift from the Yip-Spaling-Tootoo line, Kevin Klein deflected a puck of Sergei Kostitsyn's skate and into the net, just like they practice. Roberto Luongo then decided to even it up, kicking a Shea Weber shot into his own net. They gave the goal to Mike Fisher, because why not?

That score would hold through a third period in which the Canucks mostly controlled the play (though David Legwand uncharacteristically looked off an empty net) and an overtime in which the Preds had some chances.

The Preds shot themselves in the foot tonight, but get full marks for coming back and being uncharacteristically aggressive in overtime. Hard to be too disappointed with a point tonight, especially since Vancouver will probably win their division anyway. Besides, this game going to overtime ticks off all our rivals!

Notes, highlights, and shootout judgement after the jump

UPDATE: We've got loads of audio for you!

Kevin Weekes on 1025 2012-02-07 (mp3)

Predators Canucks radio highlights 2012-02-07 (mp3)

David Legwand on 1025 2012-02-07 (mp3)

Post-game audio is also available from Barry Trotz, Colin Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, Pekka Rinne, and Mike Fisher (click each name for the mp3).

Video Highlights:

Notes:

  • Roman Josi didn't win many battles tonight. Every time he went behind the net to chase someone, the Canucks player came out with the puck. Maybe a second pairing defenseman really is the Predators' biggest need.
  • Kostitsyn took three shots tonight??????¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿??????
  • The Predators took 40 shots tonight??????!?!?!?!?!¿¿¿¿¿?????
  • Colin Wilsons scored, but he was the victim of Luongo's best save, made from his back with his skate. That's two games in a row, Willy's gotten robbed.
  • Even though the power play didn't score, it looked fine. Hornqvist had a few near misses.

Finally, here's how I scored the dangles:

Raymond: 3, Kostitsyn: 2, Kesler: 2, Erat: 4, Burrows: 6, Legwand: 7, Sedin: 5, Fisher: 4, Hodgson: 5, Ellis: 5, Edler: 5, Wilson: 3

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