Vancouver Canucks’ Erik Gudbranson, right, checks Nashville Predators’ Roman Josi, of Switzerland, during second period NHL hockey action in Vancouver on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Pettersson scores on penalty shot, Canucks beat Predators 5-3

Super rookie helps Vancouver snap 4-game losing skid

VANCOUVER — Rookie Elias Pettersson scored on his first NHL penalty shot as the Vancouver Canucks used a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators Thursday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Pettersson was awarded the penalty shot with 71 seconds left in the second period after being hauled down on a breakaway by Nashville defenceman Mattias Ekholm. On the shot, Pettersson weaved his way across the ice then tucked the puck past goaltender Pekka Renne’s toe for a 4-1 lead.

The 20-year-old Swede, picked fifth overall in the 2017 draft, leads all rookies with 14 goals and 25 points.

Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen each had a goal and assist for the Canucks, who have just two wins in their last 14 games (2-10-2).

Alex Edler, on the power play, and Loui Eriksson also scored for Vancouver (12-16-3). Antoine Roussel had two assists. Nikolay Goldobin, a healthy scratch in Vancouver’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota Tuesday, assisted on Edler’s goal, giving him a team-leading 13 assists.

Ryan Hartman, Colton Sissons and Matt Irwin scored for Nashville (19-9-1), which saw a two-game win streak end.

Canuck goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots. Rinne, making his sixth straight start, made 21 saves before being replaced to start the third period by Juuse Saros. He stopped four shots.

Eriksson made it 5-1 early in the third period, scoring his fifth of the season just one second after Nashville killed a penalty. It was Eriksson’s first point in 11 games.

Hartman scored Nashville’s first goal at 7:21 of the second when he deflected Yannick Weber’s shot past Markstrom. The Canucks argued the goal came off a high stick but after a video review the play stood.

Virtanen restore the two-goal lead on a 2-on-1 breakaway at 8:51. Roussel carried the puck into the Nashville end then slid a pass past defenceman Ryan Ellis that Virtanen blasted by Rinne.

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The Canucks showed some jump in the first period, building a 2-0 lead while outshooting Nashville 14-9. It was the first time this season Vancouver led 2-0.

It took Vancouver just 19 seconds to score on the game’s first power play after Austin Watson was called for holding. Edler took Goldobin’s pass and let got a shot from just inside the blueline that travelled through traffic and sailed past Rinne’s glove.

Horvat scored with 26 seconds left in the period, taking a feed from Virtanen then rifling a shot under the crossbar.

NOTES: In the span of a 1:40 during the first period Edler scored a goal, flattened Nashville’s Yannick Weber with a big hit, then was called for a penalty. … The Canucks had gone 0 for 12 on the power play in their previous four games. … Defenceman Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch for the first time since an eight-game stretch in October. … The Predators played without forwards Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson, and defenceman P.K. Subban, all due to injury.

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

 

Nashville Predators’ Rocco Grimaldi (23) is stopped by Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, right, of Sweden, as Derrick Pouliot (5) defends during first period NHL hockey action in Vancouver on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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