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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME THIRTY-NINE: Canucks @ Nashville- Jan 18, 2022

The Canucks look to end this trip with a second straight win, but they’ll have to do it without their captain.

Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (17-18-3) vs NASHVILLE PREDATORS (24-12-3)

BRIDGESTONE ARENA, NASHVILLE, TN

5:00PM PST

TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: ON THE FORECHECK

With the Canucks spiraling in a three game losing streak that showed how wide the gap is between themselves and the best teams in the NHL, their best players showed up in a big way, none bigger than Elias Pettersson, who snapped a long pointless drought with a couple huge goals to help them take down Washington 4-2 Sunday afternoon.

One last formidable foe on this road trip as they pull into Nashville for their second meeting of the season against the Predators. Unfortunately for Vancouver, the guy who was instrumental in their last win in Washington, is now in COVID protocol.

It’s definitely a blow, as Horvat had been one one of their best performers in the past couple matches. It also means they’ll need to abandon the Elias Pettersson: Winger project for the time being, just when it was starting to succeed.

The last time these teams met, the Canucks had a 2-1 lead for all of around three minutes in the second period, and found themselves trailing a goal after forty. The Preds are a bit of a surprise so far this season, and no Pred has been more of a revelation for them than Matt Duchene. He’s second in team scoring and goals scored, and a big part of why they’re back to being a contender again this season. The goaltending they’re getting from Juuse Saros isn’t hurting either, though with Saros playing last night, they’ll likely go with a goalie the Canucks are a little more familiar with, David Rittich.

They’re also getting an impressive amount of offence from their third line. Colton Sissons, Tanner Jeannot and Yakov Trenin have combined for 27 goals so far this campaign, while the third line of Tyler Motte, Juho Lammikko and Matthew Highmore have a whole 6 goals, though to be fair Highmore and Motte both missed a significant chunk of time so far. Still, this is something that good teams have, and the Canucks need if they hope to contend.

LINEUPS

Courtesy of nhl.com, this is what you’ll get for lines tonight, whether you like it or not. Maybe.

Canucks projected lineup

Tanner PearsonJ.T. MillerBrock Boeser

Vasily PodkolzinElias PetterssonNils Hoglander

Tyler MotteJuho LammikkoMatthew Highmore

Justin DowlingJason DickinsonAlex Chiasson

Quinn HughesTucker Poolman

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Kyle BurroughsLuke Schenn

Thatcher Demko

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Brad Hunt

Injured: Guillaume Brisebois (undisclosed), Travis Harmonic (lower body), Brady Keeper (leg), Brandon Sutter (illness)

COVID-19 protocol: Jaroslav Halak, Conor Garland, Bo Horvat

Predators projected lineup

Filip ForsbergMikael GranlundMatt Duchene

Nick CousinsRyan JohansenLuke Kunin

Yakov TreninColton SissonsTanner Jeannot

Philip TomasinoMichael McCarronEeli Tolvanen

Roman JosiAlexandre Carrier

Jeremy DaviesMatt Benning

Mark BorowieckiPhilippe Myers

David Rittich

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Ben Harpur

Injured: Dante Fabbro (upper body)

COVID-19 protocol: Mattias Ekholm

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

In my years long quest to bring you new and interesting bands, I sometimes stumble across some real gems, and LAHAR from Czechia are one worth seeking out. They’re old school, D.I.Y. crossover and while the lyrics and song titles are in Czech, moshing is a universal language. Crank this one and enjoy the game.

Go Canucks Go!