Markstrom sharp as Canucks top Predators 6-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Jacob Markstrom stopped 36 shots, and Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each had a goal and an assist to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday night.
Zack MacEwen, Brandon Sutter, Jordie Benn and Jake Virtanen also scored on a night Vancouver began celebrating "Sedin Week" to celebrate retired stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who will have their numbers retired on Wednesday.
"You've gotta come up with some timely saves," Markstrom said. "Today we scored a lot of goals, but when you get called on to come up and help the team you gotta step up, especially at this time of the year."
Canucks coach Travis Green went back to Markstrom despite a 6-2 loss to the Calgary Flames last Saturday.
"He was great," Green said. "I've been with Marky awhile. We needed a response and I know - not that he was bad or didn't have a good game against Calgary, but it's not too often that he has a couple in a row."
Quinn Hughes had three assists to take over the lead in the rookie scoring race with 44 points as the Canucks ended a four-game losing streak.
Former Canucks captains Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund were all on hand Monday for Legends Night.
Craig Smith and Mikael Granlund scored for the Predators. Pekka Rinne lasted just 20:58, giving up four goals on 17 shots in his first appearance in four games. Juuse Saros stopped 13 of 15 shots the rest of the way.
With Brock Boeser on injured reserve after suffering an upper-body injury in the Canucks' loss to Calgary on Saturday, Vancouver coach Travis Green juggled his lines on Monday in hopes of inspiring a group that had gone 0-3-1 in its last four games.
The move paid dividends early as MacEwen opened the scoring at 7:06 of the first by taking a pass in the slot from Miller and firing it past Rinne.
Vancouver added two more goals in the next seven minutes. Sutter deflected a shot by Pettersson past Rinne during a power play before Benn drifted in a shot from the point for his first goal in a Canucks uniform.
"Markus (Naslund) and Linden, are probably like `This kid's only got one goal,'" said Benn, who grew up as a Canucks fans in Victoria. "They're probably making fun of me, but I mean they scored a lot of goals in their day.
"It's cool, growing up watching the Vancouver Canucks and then finally get my first. It's pretty cool."
Just 58 seconds into the second, Pettersson picked up his 24th, ending Rinne's night.
The momentum started to shift when Tyler Myers took an extra cross-checking penalty when he and Austin Watson dropped the gloves at 5:01 of the second. The Predators spoiled Markstrom's shutout bid when Smith scored his 13th during the ensuing power play. Granlund jumped on a loose puck 66 seconds later to make the score 4-2.
For the next several minutes, the Predators continued to apply pressure. Markstrom faced 19 shots in the second period, making spectacular saves on Rocco Grimaldi, Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Colton Sissons to help protect his team's lead.
"I thought we really continued to work," Watson said. "Down 4-0, it'd be pretty easy to go away at that point. We got two goals pretty quick there.
"Markstrom, he had seven to 10 Grade A chances that he came up big on. I thought we forced the envelope there. It wasn't enough to get it done."
Vancouver restored its three-goal lead with two minutes left in the second, when Hughes' shot from the blue line bounced off Miller's knee and past Saros into the net.
Tempers flared early in the third as Sissons ran over Markstrom in his crease, drawing a goaltender interference penalty. The Canucks rounded out the scoring as Hughes fed Virtanen for another power-play goal, 2:32 into the third.
NOTES: The Canucks unveiled a new Legends Locker Room interactive exhibit in the Rogers Arena concourse on Monday morning. . The Sedins were on hand to take in the game, and received a standing ovation when they were introduced to the crowd. ... The Canucks wore their black skate retro jerseys against Nashville for the final time this season. ... RW Justin Bailey played his first game as a member of the Canucks after being signed as a free agent last summer.
Predators: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Canucks: Host Chicago on Wednesday night.
Updated February 11, 2020