Canucks aim to cap swing with a win in Nashville

By
Updated: December 3, 2013

(SportsNetwork.com) – After a rough start to their weekend, the Vancouver
Canucks were able to secure a hard-fought victory that left head coach John
Tortorella pleased.

The Canucks look to conclude a four-game road trip with another victory on
Tuesday night as they visit the Nashville Predators.

After beginning its swing with a victory in Ottawa, Vancouver dropped a 5-2
decision to the New York Rangers on Saturday in John Tortorella’s return to
the Big Apple.

The Canucks didn’t get much rest after that emotional battle as they made a
quick turnaround to visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Vancouver was
able to secure just its third victory in 11 games (3-5-3) with a 3-2 decision
over the Hurricanes.

Ryan Kesler and Tom Sestito scored in the first period for the Canucks before
the ‘Canes tied the game early in the second on goals just 10 seconds apart.

Kesler, though, netted his second goal of the game less than a minute later
and backup Eddie Lack notched 29 saves in the win.

“We had a tiny lapse there in the second period, but we closed it out. Good
win for us,” said Kesler.

Tortorella agreed, especially after his club held Carolina scoreless on its
six power-play chances.

“For us, playing a back-to-back, it was a good wake-up call,” Tortorella said.
“It’s about getting tougher, grabbing a hold of ourselves and finding a way.”

Vancouver will play the first of five straight at home starting on Friday and
should have Roberto Luongo in net for the finale of this road trip. He is
15-12-0 with three ties, three shutouts and a 2.23 goals against average in
his career versus the Predators.

Nashville is 5-2-1 in its last eight games and is coming off a 3-2 shootout
loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Rookie Marek Mazanec made 22
saves, bested for the game-tying goal with 6:54 to go in regulation before
yielding the lone shootout tally.

Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson scored in regulation, though Wilson had a few
chances to score in overtime and failed to convert. That included a breakaway
with less than a minute to go in the bonus frame.

“We should have won the game, but we didn’t,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz
said. “We couldn’t hold onto the lead.”

The Preds did earn a point despite playing without a pair of defensemen in
captain Shea Weber and Kevin Klein.

Weber took a puck to face in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Edmonton, while Klein is
battling a lower-body issue. Neither skater is expected to play tonight.

The Canucks won all three of their meetings with the Predators a season ago
and have won nine of their last 12 in Nashville.