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GAME DAY: Canucks @ Predators

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A typical Canucks slow first period start, but very atypical the way they flipped the switch half way through the opening period and never relinquished control, cruising to a 4-1 win over a lackadaisical Blues squad. They roll into Nashville tonight, who are missing a huge piece with future Canuck Shea Weber injured.

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Time 5:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
H2H Last 5
2-0 Preds
Last Meeting
5-1 Nashville Jan 13/15
The Enemy On The Forecheck coring Leaders D. Sedin: 16-52-68
Ribeiro 15-45-60
Canucks
CATEGORY
Perds
44-27-5 SEASON RECORD 47-22-8
93 Points 102
2nd Division Position 1st
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2.83 (11)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.78 (13)
2.66 (19)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.38 (4)
18.7 (14) Power Play % 16.0 (26)
85.3 (3) Penalty Kill % 81.7 (14)
47.2 (28) Faceoff Win % 49.0 (19)
10. PIM / GP 8.7
48.9 (22) Corsi For % 52.4 (5)
100.5 (13) PDO 100.4 (14)

The Canucks continued their impressive winning ways on the road last night, sweeping the season series against the Blues with a convincing 4-1 win. It was their 23rd win of the season, 1 behind Anaheim and the Rangers for the league lead. They'll be in tough tonight against a Nashville team that's handled them pretty easily in the two previous meetings this year, but as we saw a couple weeks ago in LA, penciling in wins against this team on the road can be a mistake.

Radim Vrbata continued his impressive month of March, getting the assist on the winning goal from Nick Bonino, and then notching the insurance marker to give him 5 goals in his last 6 games. The 2nd line has awakened since Vrbata was shuffled down from the Sedin line, awakening both Bonino and Chris Higgins, and the timing couldn't be better as the Canucks inch closer to locking down a playoff spot. Eddie Lack was solid in a bounce-back game following that disappointing OT loss to Dallas Saturday night, stopping 23 of the 24 shots he faced. It was also another solid game from Chris Tanev, who tallied 2 assists for the 2nd straight game.

While we await word on whether Lack goes back in or they give Jacob Markstrom another start, one thing that the Canucks can look forward to is not having to contend with Shea Weber tonight, as the pride of Sicamous, BC is still too banged up to go for the Preds. With a win tonight, Vancouver can move 7 points ahead of the Kings, but the Kings will have a game in hand, a showdown between the two teams next Monday looming large. The Kings will face Edmonton and Colorado, and anything less than 2 non-shootout wins for the Kings could be disastrous for their playoff chances. Gotta say that after a few years of early clinches and regular season dominance (as well as last year's Tortorella nightmare season) this stretch drive has been amazing to watch, even if some of the teams are only relevant because of the Bettman Unnatural 'Real' Parity system.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

While they only released two album before calling it a day, the impact of NYC's Crumbsuckers on the crossover scene is still felt today. Their 'Life Of Dreams' album is one of the finest examples of 80's crossover, mixing furious thrash, hardcore breakdowns before people even knew what to call them, and snarled, politically charged lyrics. This album was huge for me back in the day, and it holds up surprisingly well.

IMPROMPTU DRINKING GAME RULES

- 1 Drink if you're already sick of mentions about Taylor Swift rehearsing as the Canucks prepare for tonight's game...

- 1 Drink if Mike Ribeiro gets his ugly face rearranged for reasons on and off the ice tonight. Karma awaits, loser...

- 2 Drinks for Ronalds Kenins gettings the monkeys off his backs, or somethings

- 2 Drinks: Lame John Garrett country music reference

- 3 Drinks to make Carrie cry again

- 3 Drinks for every 'should of kept Santorelli' tweet you'll see tonight...