May 24th, 2024

Canucks pull off comeback, top Predators 4-3 in OT

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on April 28, 2024.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Casey DeSmith (29) warms up before the start of Game 3 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Nashville Predators, in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, April 26, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-George Walker IV

NASHVILLE – Elias Lindholm scored 1:02 into overtime and the Vancouver Canucks came all the way back to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series on Sunday.

The Canucks now hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 5 in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Brock Boeser opened the scoring 2:55 into regulation, then dug Vancouver out of a two-goal deficit with a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the third. J.T. Miller contributed three assists.

Mark Jankowski replied with a first-period tally for Nashville before Gustav Nyquist gave the Predators the lead in the second and Filip Forsberg added a goal early in the third.

Juuse Saros made 16 saves for Nashville and Arturs Silovs – making his first ever NHL playoff appearance – stopped 27 of 30 shots for Vancouver.

The 23-year-old Latvian is the third goalie to play for the Canucks during the series after both all-star netminder Thatcher Demko and backup Casey DeSmith went down with injuries.

Demko backstopped Vancouver to a win in Game 1 but has been sidelined since by an undisclosed injury, and is considered week to week.

Backup Casey DeSmith took over for Games 2 and 3, going 1-1-0 in the two contests with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. What kept DeSmith out of Game 4 remains unclear.

Boeser opened the scoring early on Sunday, collecting a pass from J.T. Miller and whipping a shot on net. Saros dropped his stick as he dove sideways in an attempt to make the save and the puck sailed in under his arm for Boeser’s second goal of the playoffs.

Nashville was quick to reply during an elongated stretch of 4-on-4 hockey.

Forsberg was sent to the box for interference and, moments later, Lindholm followed for the same offence.

With both teams down a man, Jeremy Lauzon launched a shot from the top of the faceoff circle and Jankowski tipped in the equalizer at the 5:34 mark.

Injuries began to pile up as the period wore on.

Midway through the frame, Roman Josi took a deflected puck off the ear. He stayed on the ice, despite blood dripping down his neck, until an official sent him to the locker room for repairs. He did not return in the first but was back for the second.

Quinn Hughes appeared to get hurt about 16 minutes into the second when he got sandwiched in twin hits by Jason Zucker and Colton Sissons along the end boards. The Canucks captain headed straight to the benched doubled over and was limited to just 24:09 in ice time.

Vancouver’s Tyler Myers fell to the ice 17:28 into the game after a shot from Nashville centre Tommy Novak deflected up into the big defenceman’s visor. Trainers came out to look at Myers but he got up on his own and went down the tunnel, then returned for the middle frame.

The home side went up 2-1 in the second after Nyquist, stationed at the Predators’ blue line, collected a pass from Ryan O’Reilly and streaked up the ice. The Swedish winger’s wrist shot from inside the faceoff circle beat Silovs 5:21 into the period.

Silovs kept Vancouver’s deficit to a single goal late in the second when Anthony Beauvillier blasted a shot on net, only to see the netminder snatch the puck out of mid-air.

Forsberg gave Nashville a 3-1 lead just 12 seconds into the third.

Silovs made a pad stop on a shot from Ryan McDonagh, but Josi got to the lose puck and chipped it through the crease from below the goal line. Forsberg then directed the puck into the net for his second goal of the post-season.

The Canucks pulled Silovs in favour of an extra attacker with 3:21 left on the game clock.

The advantage paid off when Boeser put a shot in past Saros 17:13 into the period for his second goal of the game, cutting Vancouver’s deficit to 3-2.

With Silovs out of the net yet again, Boeser put a puck off the post, collected his own rebound and tucked it in past Saros to complete his hat trick with eight seconds left in the game.

Lindholm sealed the victory with a quick snipe past Saros 1:02 into the extra frame, marking his second goal of the playoffs.


Both sides went 0-for-2 on the power play Sunday. The Canucks have killed off 14 straight penalties.


Nashville defenceman Dante Fabro played his first game of the series. He slotted in for Spencer Stastney, who left Game 3 with an upper-body injury and is considered week to week.


The series returns to Vancouver for Game 5 on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2024.

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