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Special teams prove decisive in Preds’ win over Canucks

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Mikael Granlund had two assists and rookie Philip Tomasino scored a game-winning, power-play goal as the Nashville Predators collected a 3-2 road win over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

With the game tied 2-2 in the final minute of the second period, Luke Kunin’s pass found a wide-open Tomasino in front of Vancouver’s net for the go-ahead score. The 20-year-old Tomasino already has three goals and an assist in his first nine NHL games.

The Predators are 5-1-0 in their past six games, with three of the wins coming away from home.

Roman Josi and Matt Duchene scored for Nashville, with Josi’s goal also coming on the power play as the Predators took advantage of a struggling Canucks special teams unit.

Vancouver has allowed opponents to score seven goals on 15 power-play chances over the last four games. On their own power plays, the Canucks are scoreless in 17 attempts in that same span.

Vancouver was 0-for-5 on the power play against Nashville, as the Predators recorded almost as many shots (two) as the Canucks (three) during those times. On both Nashville chances, Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko had to make big saves to prevent short-handed scores from Colton Sissons and Tanner Jeannot.

Brock Boeser and Nils Hoglander each scored for the Canucks, with both forwards using some canny stick-handling to beat Juuse Saros. On both plays, Saros came out of his crease to try to reduce the shooting angle, yet Boeser and Hoglander each expertly maneuvered the puck around the Nashville goalie and into the net.

Hoglander’s goal gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead at 10:08 of the second period, but Duchene produced a breakaway equalizer just over two minutes later. Duchene has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games.

The Canucks are 1-4-0 in their past five games, all on home ice.

Saros stopped 26 of 28 shots for his fifth win of the season.

Demko stopped 25 of 28 shots for the Canucks.

–Field Level Media

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