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Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, left, talks with referee Marc Joannette during the second period of game 1 of an NHL Western Conference semi-final Stanley Cup playoff hockey series against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday April 28, 2011. (DARRYL DYCK)
Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, left, talks with referee Marc Joannette during the second period of game 1 of an NHL Western Conference semi-final Stanley Cup playoff hockey series against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday April 28, 2011. (DARRYL DYCK)

Preds, Trotz ready for Canucks in Game 2 Add to ...

The Vancouver Canucks have two forward lines working right now, whereas the Nashville Predators have none.

Those were the early returns in this NHL Western Conference semi-final after Vancouver's 1-0 victory in Game 1 on Thursday. The sides are back at it Saturday in Game 2 at Rogers Arena, and Predators coach Barry Trotz has challenged his team to be better after a miserable performance in the series opener.

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The spotlight is most certainly on the visitors in Game 2, as Trotz used words like "passengers" to describe his players and said watching the Game 1 film was like "an outer-body experience."

"I was at a loss for words," Trotz said. "Trust me. I had feedback for them."

Trotz's challenge made its way back to the Canucks dressing room, where the players understand their opponent won't roll over. Alain Vigneault praised his team's work ethic in Game 1, but it was hardly an offensive showcase for the NHL's highest-scoring team.

Chris Higgins scored the only goal, on a very effective unit that includes Maxim Lapierre and Jannik Hansen. The line of Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond was also useful, but the Sedin twins and Mikael Samuelsson are struggling to produce offence, and the fourth line is without a natural centre and is receiving limited ice time.

"As long as we're winning games, it's nothing you think about," captain Henrik Sedin said of his outage. "When you start losing, that's when you start feeling it."

The Canucks plan no lineup changes for Game 2. The Predators could turn to forward Colin Wilson or J.P. Dumont, who were healthy scratches in Game 1.

Follow on Twitter: @mattsekeres

 

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