Preds Take Advantage of Canucks' Home Woes

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Nashville Predators finally found a solution for their road woes: a Vancouver Canucks team struggling at home.

David Legwand and Martin Erat scored on Nashville's first two shots and Dan Ellis made 29 saves, lifting the Predators to their first road win of the season, 3-0 over the Canucks on Thursday night.

Roberto Luongo finished with just 12 saves for the Canucks, who only have one win in seven games at home this season -- and just one in their last five overall.

J.P. Dumont had two assists despite breaking the tip of his left ring finger during Nashville's 5-1 loss in Calgary two nights earlier -- the Predators' fifth straight road loss.

Nashville came in with three goals on the road all season, but matched that total despite just 15 shots when Jason Arnott scored on a power play with 8.6 seconds left in the game.

Legwand opened the scoring on a power play 6:16 in, circling at the top of the faceoff circle to Luongo's left before firing a wrist shot through the goalie's legs. It was the Predators' first lead on the road this season, and Erat doubled it on a breakaway two minutes later, sliding a backhand deke through Luongo's legs.

Outshot 13-3 in the first period and 22-5 through 40 minutes, the Predators got another good game from their backup goaltender. Ellis, making his third start in four games while No. 1 Chris Mason tries to overcome a seven-game losing streak, made a good save off Markus Naslund on a power play in the first, and on Mattias Ohlund's shot from the high slot early in the third period. He preserved the shutout with a point-blank power-play stop on Brendan Morrison with 2:30 left.

Ellis, a second-round draft pick by Dallas in 2001 who spent almost all his first four seasons in the minors, now has two shutouts in three starts with Nashville, and wins in all four career NHL starts, including one with the Stars in 2003-04.

The loss was costly for the Canucks; defenseman Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo both left the game bleeding and didn't return. Bieksa left late in the second period with what appeared to be a skate cut across the back of his right calf after getting tangled up with Vern Fiddler. Bieksa left a trail of blood in the corner as he was helped off the ice, unable to put any weight on his right leg.

Salo left a pool of blood behind with four minutes left after teammate Alexander Edler's clearing attempt caught him flush in the face.


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