Thatcher Demko made 31 saves to lead the Vancouver Canucks over the Nashville Predators in a 3-1 skid on Tuesday night.
Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Juho Lammikko scored in Vancouver’s second straight victory. The win ended the Canucks’ nine-game road streak on a high. Vancouver last played at home on December 14.
“We have a lot of heart,” said coach Bruce Boudreau. “We have an excellent goalkeeper. There is no doubt about it. He stopped two or three clean breakaways tonight. It’s a wall over there.
Philip Tomasino scored and David Rittich stopped 21 shots for Nashville, which has lost four in a row. The Predators were 12-1-1 in their previous 14 games before the slide.
“We’ve had good periods here, and I think now the attention to detail that we have to play with, the consistency with that, has got to be better and that’s what we want to focus on here,” said trainer John Hynes. “We don’t play like we have to play to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Tomasino scored the first goal at 2:51 of the second period.
With the Predators on the power play, Tomasino beat Demko on the opposite side with a slapshot half just above the right face-off spot for the rookie’s sixth goal of the season.
Pettersson tied the game at 7:23 of the second, cleaning up the rebound of Vasily Podkolzin’s shot from the slot.
“In the second, I felt like we didn’t play hard enough,” Predators captain Roman Josi said. “We gave them a lot of time in our zone. They started creating a lot of things on our side. Overall, it’s a disappointing loss. There are definitely things we could have done better.
Pettersson has three goals in his last two games.
Vancouver took a 2-1 lead at 3:41 of the second thanks to Boeser’s power play goal. JT Miller sent a wrist shot to the net from the left circle. Standing just outside the crease, Boeser tipped the puck over Rittich.
“We were looking for certain games, and this was one,” Boeser said. “We went low a few times. [Miller] made a great shooting pass there.
Lammikko sent a loose puck home at 12:19 of the third.
Demko was sharp, especially in the second period, when he denied 14 of Nashville’s 15 shots on goal. Demko was recently selected for his first All-Star Game.
“I think it was huge to lose three and then bounce back and win two,” Demko said. “We just have to get our wins here one at a time.”
Both Pettersson and Boeser like to see Nashville on the schedule.
Pettersson has five goals and six assists in eight career games against the Predators. Boeser has seven goals and four assists in 10 games against Nashville.
Rittich made his seventh appearance of the season, but first at home. Known as Big Save Dave, Rittich had only played at Bridgestone Arena as a visitor before signing with the Predators this offseason.
Nashville starter Juuse Saros has seen the lion’s share of work in goal this season, making 33 appearances so far. Saros’ strong performance made him one of the top contenders for the Vezina Trophy.
Carter Hutton is the last Predators goaltender other than Saros or Pekka Rinne to win at home on January 16, 2016.
Predators: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Canucks: Open a three-game homestand Friday against the Florida Panthers.