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Canucks can't eliminate Predators in Game 5, head back to Nashville

The Vancouver Canucks created some of their best chances of the series but couldn't capitalize against the Nashville Predators in Game 5.
The Vancouver Canucks looked to eliminate the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their first-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On Tuesday night at Rogers Arena, the Vancouver Canucks had a chance to eliminate the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their first-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They couldn't quite do it.

The Canucks dominated the opening period, with several smothering shifts in the offensive zone. They doubled up the Predators in shot attempts 24-to-12 and in shots on goal 8-to-4. 

What they couldn't do, however, was translate those shots into goals. It was arguably the best full period the Canucks played all series but they just couldn't find that final finishing touch. 

The upside for the Canucks is they also didn't give anything up, allowing no real scoring chances for the Predators, even if there were a few scrambly moments in the defensive zone. They were particularly good on a late penalty kill, repeatedly breaking up the Predators' zone entries and sending the puck the length of the ice. 

Likewise, the second period passed without a goal either way despite power plays for both teams. The penalty kills for both the Canucks and the Predators prevented any real scoring chances with neither team recording a shot on goal. In fact, the best chance came shorthanded for the Predators, as Kiefer Sherwood burst up ice on a 2-on-1 and rung the puck off the post.

It was a tense defensive battle, with the Predators getting the better of the Canucks in possession, but they were unable to solve Arturs Silovs, who got his second start of the series.

With neither team able to erase the zeroes on the scoreboard through two, Game 5 would be decided in the third period. 

After a couple of glorious scoring chances for the Canucks' top-six forwards, it was a defenceman that opened the scoring. Nikita Zadorov jumped up the left wing, looked to the middle of the ice as if he was going to pass, then roofed the puck over Juuse Saros's shoulder on the short side with a wicked wristshot.

The Predators quickly responded on the power play, with Roman Josi getting in behind the Canucks' penalty kill for the first real power play chance for either team. Silovs came up with the save, but the puck sat behind him in the crease. As he laid out trying to cover it up, the chaos in the crease pushed him back into the puck, which propelled the puck over the goal line.

The Canucks considered challenging the goal but ultimately let it stand.

After Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson couldn't capitalize on a couple of chances off the rush, the Predators pushed back hard, desperate to avoid elimination. A strong offensive zone shift led to Alexandre Carrier's point shot beating a screened Silovs just inside the post along the ice to give the Predators the 2-1 lead.

The Canucks poured on the pressure but, unlike in Game 4, couldn't come up with the game-tying goal in the final minutes of regulation, with Saros coming up with a couple of game and series-saving stops.

With the loss, the Canucks will head back to Nashville for Game 6, hoping to avoid returning home for Game 7.


Want a more in-depth recap of the game? Read the I Watched This Game feature. Don't forget to follow @passittobulis on X/Twitter to stay updated on the Canucks throughout the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.