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Instant Reaction: Predators block 32 Canucks shots, series heads for Nashville tied at one all

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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 writing The Stanchies and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — posted tomorrow morning!
Even with the potentially devastating news that Thatcher Demko was out tonight and is questionable for the rest of the series, there was still that same buzz all through the city today that we witnessed on Sunday.
More importantly, the noise inside Rogers Arena was incredible long before puck drop. A go Canucks go chant broke out eight minutes before warmups even started, and that energy that had so many Canucks moved post game was present tonight.
The game started with a bang, and in the midst of a “Let’s go Casey” chant, Casey DeSmith let in the first goal of the game on the first shot of the game. The puck looked like it was moving in slow motion as it came off former Canuck Anthony Beauvillier’s stick.
If you thought that would quiet the home crowd, you were sorely mistaken.
The crowd, which drew so much praise after game one, got right back into things the second the puck dropped after the first goal.
After some sustained pressure from the Canucks, Pius Suter was absolutely robbed by Juuse Saros on a chance in tight.
This pressure led to the Canucks picking up the first power play of the game. The first power play was fairly listless, as they failed to really get set up.
Just as it was expiring, however, Nashville was called for a too many men penalty, giving the Canucks a chance to get right back out there and try to solve Juuse Saros.
Elias Pettersson threw the puck in front on a scramble play that Conor Garland couldn’t make contact with. They looked better on the second power play than the first, but the end result was the Canucks failing to record a shot on goal as they went 0-4 on the power play in the series. Pettersson maybe should have shot that puck.
With six minutes to go in the first, the shot attempts were 16-3 in favour of the Canucks, but the actual shots on goal were 3-2 in favour of Nashville. The Predators blocked shots well, and after an interference penalty called against Noah Juulsen, Nashville had a chance to spend some time in the Canucks’ end.
On the ensuing Nashville power play, Nikita Zadorov absolutely stapled Roman Josi to the boards on a zone entry. Luckily for the Canucks, that was the only highlight from the Nashville power play.
In the final minute of the period, the Lotto Line was put out for a defensive zone draw, which led to Elias Pettersson making a strong burst up the ice and drawing a holding penalty to give the Canucks a late power play.
And if you watched the game, you know what’s coming next.
This was the Canucks’ best chance of the period.
Despite outplaying and out-possessing Nashville in the first period, the Canucks found themselves down by a goal after 20 minutes of play. Noah Juulsen took his second penalty of the night when he was called for slashing Anthony Beauvillier.
The Canucks killed off that penalty and got right back to putting the pressure on Nashville. After a while, Nashville turned the play the other way, and after nearly scoring a garbage goal after some shaky rebound control from Casey DeSmith, Nashville struck, with Ryan O’Reilly scoring a goal from in close after a defensive breakdown from the Canucks.
Moments later, Nashville capitalized after a costly neutral zone turnover from Elias Pettersson and another rebound off of Casey DeSmith. It was a rough night for number 40, and this was certainly a lowlight.
Just as the life was starting to leave the building, Nikita Zadorov got things loud once again. Funny enough, the goal came moments after a “shoot the puck” chant broke out at among the frustrated Rogers Arena faithful.
With just over two minutes to play, Jason Zucker was called for a slash on Quinn Hughes to give the Canucks their fourth power play of the game.
They couldn’t have gotten much closer to scoring than they did, as a JT Miller slap pass deflected off of Alex Carrier’s skate and hit the post behind Juuse Saros.
The Canucks entered the third period down by a pair of goals.
Pius Suter failed to tip home a glorious JT Miller slap pass that would have brought the Canucks within one, and Dakota Joshua had a chance shortly thereafter.
The Canucks continued to apply the pressure, but they still struggled to generate shots on Saros.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Nikita Zadorov jumpstarted an end to end rush that ended with another example of the Canucks’ pure lack of puck luck on the night, as Dakota Joshua hit the post and couldn’t bury the loose puck after the fact.
Brock Boeser had some good chances and it truly seemed like the Lotto Line were going to play every minute they possibly could with the Hughes-Hronek pairing as the Canucks attempted to muster a comeback. Hughes took a tripping penalty with just under five minutes to go. The Canucks killed the penalty off, but their next offensive zone time didn’t come until the final two minutes of the game. JT Miller lost the draw, and Nashville went the other way, scoring their fourth goal of the game on what was the Predators’ first shot of the third period.
Nashville blocked 32 shots in this one, and that’s certainly a big part of the story. It’s not the entire story, of course, but you get the point.
The Canucks played well but couldn’t finish their chances, and made some costly mistakes that the Predators pounced on.
This series is headed for Nashville, tied at one apiece.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
Be sure to check our Rink Wide LIVE post game! Interact with Jeff Paterson and Irfaan Gaffar in the YouTube live chat and hear all player and coach availabilities from Rogers Arena!

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