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Predators claw out 2-1 win over Canucks in Game 5, keep season alive

Game 6 in best-of-seven NHL playoff series goes Friday in Nashville
Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (21) checks Nashville Predators’ Alexandre Carrier (45) during the first period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Nashville Predators kept their season alive with a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series Tuesday.

Roman Josi and Alexandre Carrier scored for the Preds, who narrowed their deficit in the best-of-seven matchup to 3-2.

Star winger Filip Forsberg assisted on both tallies.

After two scoreless periods, defenceman Nikita Zadorov got the Canucks on the board early in the third period.

Rookie goalie Arturs Silovs stopped 20 of 22 shots for Vancouver and Juuse Saros made 19 saves for Nashville.

The series returns to Nashville for Game 6 on Friday night.

Vancouver poured on the pressure early Tuesday, creating a flurry of chances in the game’s opening minutes.

As the first period wore on, Silovs proved to be a force of calm for the Canucks.

Ryan McDonagh tried to beat the 23-year-old Latvian goalie with a drag move midway through the frame, but Silovs simply reached up and snatched the puck out of mid-air.

Vancouver’s best chance of the first came in the period’s final seconds when J.T. Miller bolted out of the penalty box, collected the puck for a breakaway, and sent a wrist shot just wide of the Nashville net.

The Preds came into the second with a burst of offensive force, and outshot the home side 11-4 across the period.

Cole Smith unleashed a one-timer from the middle of the faceoff circle 33 seconds into the frame, hitting the top of Silovs’ blocker. The goalie watched the rebound drop to the ice and pounced to cover it up.

Midway through the second, Nashville got another prime chance, this time while down a man.

With Anthony Beauvillier in the box for hooking, Kiefer Sherwood streaked down the ice on a short-handed breakaway, only to see his shot clang off the post.

Vancouver went 0-for-2 on the power play Tuesday while Nashville was 1-for-4.

The Canucks finally broke the scoring drought 3:11 into the third period when Zadorov fired a sharp-angle shot under the crossbar from just above the goal line.

It was the bruising defenceman’s second goal of the playoffs.

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The Predators levelled the score with a power-play goal 7:15 into the third after Dakota Joshua was called for boarding.

Silovs stopped Josi on a breakaway, freezing the puck under his body, only to be pushed into the net, with the puck squirting lose and skittering across the goal line for the Preds’ captain’s first goal of the post-season.

The tally snapped the Canucks’ streak of 17 successful penalty kills.

Nashville took the lead 12:46 into the third when Carrier, using a screen from Ryan O’Reilly, blasted a shot past Silovs from just inside the blue line.

Vancouver pulled Silovs in favour of an extra attacker with two minutes left on the game clock, but couldn’t score the equalizer.


Predators defenceman Luke Schenn was a late scratch due to illness. Tyson Barrie took his spot in the lineup and played his first game since March 28.


Game 6 is set to go in Nashville on Friday.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press