After a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks get right back in action as they visit Music City to take on the Nashville Predators. This will be the last game for the Canucks before the All-Star break and it is the last stop on a four-game road trip.
This will be the third and final meeting of the season between the Canucks and Predators. They last met on January 18 in Nashville which Vancouver won 3-1. Their first meeting was in Vancouver where the Predators won 3-2 on November 5.
The Canucks got back to .500 with the win in Chicago and their record is now 20-19-6. They are still seventh in the Pacific Division but are only two points behind the Calgary Flames for the final wild card spot.
Thatcher Demko will get the start against the Predators and Vasily Podkolzin will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch Monday against the Blackhawks. Tanner Pearson will also be back in the lineup coming off the COVID-19 protocol.
After the game in Chicago, Boudreau explained why Podkolzin was scratched.
“This isn’t a punishment,” said Boudreau per Farhan Lalji of TSN. “This isn’t anything you did wrong. We just want you to take a step back and get ready for tomorrow and maybe he’ll see some things differently. Sometimes he tries to do too much”
With Pearson coming off the COVID protocol, Boudreau spoke about the NHL and NHLPA stopping daily tests for players who are fully-vaccinated and asymptomatic. The new rules will take effect after the All-Star break.
“It’s long overdue,” he said per Ben Kuzma of The Province/Vancouver Sun. ” Our last five guys in protocol had no symptoms. We lost good players for no apparent reason. If a guy is sick, and you see that he’s sick, absolutely test him.”
The Predators have a record of 27-14-4 and sit second in the Central Division. It looks like Jusse Saros will get the start for them.
Players to watch:
Nashville Predators- Jusse Saros: Saros was named the NHL’s second star of the month. Saros is in the tops ten in many statistical categories among goaltenders who played at least 25 games. He is first in the NHL in starts (37), third in save percentage (.927), tied for third in wins (23), seventh in goals-against average (2.36); and tied for seventh in shutouts (Two).
Vancouver Canucks- Luke Schenn: Luke Schenn was really good in the game in Chicago. He tied the franchise record in hits (set by himeself on March 24, 2019 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.) with 12. That is also the highest single-game total of hits by a skater in the NHL so far this season.
Puck drop is at 5:00 PM. You can watch the game on Sportsnet Pacific or listen to it on Sportsnet 650.