Instant Reaction: Canucks lose tightly-contested affair vs. Predators, series heads to Nashville for game six

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below! Wyatt Arndt is on The Stanchies, and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — posted tomorrow morning!
Tonight, the Canucks fans in attendence at Rogers Arena came ready, and the players on the ice certainly returned that favour early on.
The Canucks were playing with so much energy, so much poise, and were absolutely swarming the Predators early on. If you had any doubts as to whether or not the home team wanted to end this series and avoid another gruelling flight to Nashville, their start tonight made it crystal clear. They were here to take care of business and put an end to this.
All four lines looked good, and this even included the Elias Pettersson line. Pettersson himself did some good things to create offence, which is certainly a good sign given how this series — and the last three months, really — has gone for him.
Early on, the Canucks looked like the Harlem Globetrotters. They were first on every puck, cycling it around the Nashville zone, and dominating the puck possession game. Arturs Silovs made a couple of sharp saves early, but the majority of the play was taking place in the Predators’ end of the ice.
Arturs Silovs was so sharp early on in this one. He needed to make a deft poke check and a couple of nice glove saves to keep the Washington Generals Predators from somehow scoring the first goal of this game.
JT Miller took a hooking penalty late in the first to give the Predators the game’s first power play, giving the Canucks’ penalty kill another chance to come up big. They were phenomenal once again, making it 15 straight successful kills.
That was about as complete and dominant of a period the Canucks have played in this series, and although they didn’t have anything to show for it on the scoreboard, it was a great start for the home team.
In the second period, the intensity remained high, and Silovs somehow looked even better than he did in the first period. Silovs’ rebound control stood out big time in this one.
Nikita Zadorov took the game’s second penalty, giving the Canucks PK another chance to get to work. Elias Lindholm continued to stand out, disrupting Nashville zone entries and being effective at both ends of the ice.
The Preds looked like a far more serious hockey team in the second period, jumping out ahead on the shot chart 9-3. A strong shift from the Elias Pettersson line ten minutes into the second resulted in the Canucks picking up their first power play of the game.
The first unit struggled to get set up and even gave up a short handed 2-on-1 rush that ended with Nashville hitting the post behind Arturs Silovs. The Canucks got another power play chance shortly thereafter after Ryan McDonagh was called for cross checking.
The Canucks fared better on this power play, but only slightly, as they didn’t score.
In the second, Nashville’s second line came alive and dragged them into a game that they looked completely overmatched in in the first period.
Nashville got another power play to close out the second, and the Canucks’ penalty killers once again came up big as we headed off for the third period, still tied at zero.
The Canucks got back to creating chances in the Nashville end, but it was Nikita Zadorov who beat Saros short side on an end-to-end rush three minutes into the third to finally open the scoring in this one.
It cannot be understated how great of a series Zadorov has had against the Predators.
This game had to be more interesting than that though, so after a Dakota Joshua boarding penalty put the Canucks shorthanded for a fourth time, Nashville scored a garbage goal that might have been goalie interference? Nobody really knows what is and isn’t, right?
Not wanting to risk going down shorthanded, the Canucks chose not to challenge the call on the ice, and we were tied up at one. Nashville started to put some pressure on the Canucks, and an Alex Carrier point shot found its way through traffic and gave the Predators their first lead of the night with just over seven minutes to go.
The Canucks continued to press, but Nashville’s strategy of clogging the middle and battening down the hatches proved too difficult for the Canucks to overcome. This one is headed back to Nashville for game six on Friday night.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
Be sure to tune into Rink Wide with Jeff Paterson and Irfaan Gaffar LIVE on Youtube moments after the final horn!

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