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Canucks game day: Looking for a second straight win in Nashville and a 3-1 series lead

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Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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NASHVILLE – The Vancouver Canucks will look to grab a 3-1 stranglehold on their first round playoff series when they face the Nashville Predators in Game 4 at Bridgestone Arena this afternoon.
The game is set for a 4pm Central time (2pm Pacific) puck drop.
With the earlier than usual start time, neither team held a morning skate. Both teams practiced at Bridgestone on Saturday afternoon. The Canucks showed no indication of any potential line-up changes during their brief 30 minute practice. That changed on Sunday afternoon when Tocchet suggested he had a line-up decision to make. There are several reports they may involve Canucks goaltending with a suggestion that Arturs Silovs could be forced into action ahead of Casey DeSmith.
That means Rick Tocchet is likely to come back with the same line-up that earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory on Friday night. JT Miller and Brock Boeser scored power play goals – each with his first goal of these playoffs – to stake the Canucks to a 2-0 lead. Luke Evangelista scored with three minutes to play to get the Preds on the board. Nashville held a 30-12 edge in shots on goal. The 12 shots were a new franchise record for the Canucks for fewest shots in a playoff game. JT Miller had six of the 12 shots on his own.
Through three games of this series, goals are even at seven apiece. The Canucks are two for nine on the power play while the Predators are one for 13. Nashville went 0 for 5 on Friday night including 21 seconds with a two-man advantage midway through the third period.
The Preds will be forced to make one line-up change. Defenceman Spencer Statsney is listed as day to day after taking a heavy hit from the Canucks Dakota Joshua in the first period. Stastney stayed in the game briefly, but left midway through the second period. Coquitlam’s Dante Fabbro could draw in and make his series debut. With Nashville down to five defensemen and trailing in the game, captain Roman Josi logged 12:47 of the third period and a series high 30:31 of ice time in the game.
Quinn Hughes set up both Canucks goals on Friday night and leads all scorers in this series with four points (4A). Dakota Joshua is the only skater with a pair of goals so far. Jason Zucker and Filip Forsberg lead the Preds in scoring with three points apiece.
While the Canucks netminding is a mystery for Game 4, Juuse Saros will start once again for the Preds. He is 1-2 in the series so far with a 2.03 GAA and an .880 save percentage.
Dakota Joshua leads the Canucks with 15 hits in these playoffs while Ian Cole is tops on the team with eight blocked shots. For the Predators, Kiefer Sherwood leads the series with 17 hits while Alex Carrier and Ryan McDonough share the team lead with nine shot blocks.
The Preds hold a 70-51 edge in shots on goal in this series including a 29-16 advantage in third periods. The Canucks have managed four, four and three shots on goal in the first periods of the three games so far.
Three Nashville players are celebrating birthdays today: Kevin Lankinen is 29 while Jeremy Lauzon and Tommy Novak are both 27.
After tonight, the series will shift back to Vancouver for Game 5 on Tuesday. The question is will it return to Nashville? If necessary, Game 6 would be played at Bridgestone Arena on Friday with a Game 7 in this series slated for next Sunday at Rogers Arena.
Game 1: 4-2 Vancouver
Game 2: 4-1 Nashville
Game 3: 2-1 Vancouver 
Today’s referees: Frederick L’Ecuyer & Chris Lee (Garrett Rank is the standby official)
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