Craig Smith had the decisive goal in the shootout after the Nashville Predators scored twice to tie in the third period in a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
James Neal and Filip Forsberg scored 1:12 apart to even the score with about 7 minutes remaining in regulation for the Predators. Ryan Johansen also scored in the tiebreaker before Smith won it in the fourth round.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 23 shots through overtime to improve to 11-1-2 in his last 14 games.
The Predators, who hold the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, moved within two points of third-place Chicago in the Central Division.
Bo Horvat scored at 6:52 of the first period, poking in a rebound to end the Canucks’ longest scoring drought in franchise history at 234:52. Daniel Sedin’s power-play goal later in the period made it 2-0, and Ryan Miller had 30 saves as Vancouver lost its sixth straight. Miller fell to 4-0-1 in Nashville.
Jared McCann scored in the second round of the shootout for Vancouver, which last won when it beat Nashville on March 12.
The Canucks, who began the night 12th in the Western Conference, was shut out in its previous three games. Horvat’s score was their first since the first period of a 3-1 loss to Colorado on March 16.
The Canucks made it 2-0 on Sedin’s score with 5:21 left in the first as he took a pass from twin brother Henrik Sedin from behind the net and snapped a shot from the low slot past Rinne.
Nashville had killed 27 straight penalties before Sedin’s 27th goal ended the streak. The Predators hadn’t allowed a power-play goal the previous eight games.
Vancouver had gone 0 for 26 on the power play before that goal. The Canucks hadn’t scored on the man advantage in their previous eight games.
Neal narrowed the gap to 2-1 by scoring from the low slot with 8:04 left in the third for his 29th goal of the season.
Forsberg tied it with a wraparound backhander with 6:52 remaining for his 31st.
Nashville’s home point streak extended to nine games as it improved to 6-0-3 in the last nine games at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators are 14-2-4 against Canadian teams after winning two of three against Vancouver.
NOTES: Nashville set a team record with its 31st sellout of the season as 17,113 filled the arena. ... Canucks RW Jannik Hansen, who has scored 19 goals, returned to the lineup after missing the past 11 games with a rib injury. He joined the first line with the Sedin brothers. ... Vancouver began a tough stretch against seven teams that appear to be playoff-bound. ... Nashville moved up one spot to second this week in Sports Illustrated’s NHL Power rankings.Report Typo/Error