Canucks Joshua, Predators Josi

Canucks Game Day 33: Smashville Streak, VAN Tops In Goal Differential

Canucks Game Facts

Tonight: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators

Where: Bridgestone Arena

When: 5 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Sportsnet / AM-650

Key Factors:

Starting goalkeepers: Casey DeSmith for Vancouver, Juuse Saros for Nashville.

Last week, Canucks number-one Thatcher Demko was the NHL’s 2nd-Star of the week with a shut-out among his three wins.

Brock Boeser is tied with Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the league lead in goals with 23

The Canucks scored three goals in the 2nd period on Sunday in Chicago and held on for a 4-3 win over the lowly Blackhawks. The Predators have won four in a row.

Vancouver has the 2nd most points in the NHL (44), behind only the Pacific Division leading Vegas Golden Knights (47). The Canucks have the NHL’s best goal differential at plus-41.

Nashville would be the 1st wild card playoff team in the Western Conference if the season ended today.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Despite having two points in his last game and nine over his last seven matches, Canucks centre J.T. Miller has slipped to third in NHL scoring with 45 points. (Nikita Kucherov 52, Nathan MacKinnon 47)

Captain Quinn Hughes has gone pointless in three straight games, but still leads Cale Makar, MacKinnon’s teammate in Colorado, by two points for the NHL scoring lead among defenceman.

Elias Pettersson has dropped out of the top-10 in league scoring. He’s alternated getting a point or points in every-other-game over his last six.

Conor Garland has a point in each of his last three games and five of his last seven. He and his linemates Teddy Blueger and Dakota Joshua have all factored big in the last three wins.

The Predators spread the scoring around in their victory over Washington on Saturday night with eight different players picking up a single point. Otherwise it’s been the usual suspects. Filip Forsberg had the game winning goal and an assist on Friday night in Nashville’s OT win over the Carolina Hurricanes while Ryan O’Reilly and defenceman Roman Josi each had three point games.

Captain Josi has seven points over his last four games while Forsberg has six.

Special Teams

The Canucks power play went 1-for-4 on Sunday in Chicago and continues at a solid 25.4% clip on the season. Their penalty kill gave up two goals to the Blackhawks on four chances and the overall PK slipped to 76%. That’s 24th in the league.

The Predators went 1-for-3 on the power play on Saturday against the Capitals while allowing a 1-for-4 effort to Washington while on the penalty kill.

That Nashville PK is just a smidge better than the Canucks at 76.2%, while the power play ranks 15th at 21.2%.

Coming In:

Canucks: 21-9-and-2 for 44 points, good for 2nd place in the Pacific Division. coming off a 4-3 win in Chicago on Sunday.

Predators: 18-13 for 36 points. Nashville has won four games in a row, most recently a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Recent Canucks:

— Ex-Canucks Winger Beauvillier Not Completely Surprised By Trade

— Canucks Trade Studnicka To Sharks For Cicek And Pick

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.