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Canucks eliminate Predators, will face Oilers in next round

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 in Game 6 of the first round on Friday night after Pius Suter scored a late go-ahead goal with 1:39 left.

The loss ends the Predators’ run in the NHL playoffs, with the Canucks winning the series 4-2. Vancouver will face the Edmonton Oilers in the second round.

The Predators were the faster team early, pressing the puck into the Canucks’ zone at will. Two early chances, one by Anthony Beauvillier, one by Filip Forsberg, forced goaltender Arturs Silovs to react quickly.

But the Canucks responded in the second half of the period, generating a few chances on Juuse Saros to balance out the shots.

At the end of the first, the Predators owned a narrow shot advantage (6-5), but had three high danger chances to Vancouver’s one.

Nashville Predators squander four minute power play in second period

At the 13:28 mark of the second period, Brock Boeser high-sticked Nashville’s Jeremy Lauzon. The infraction drew blood, which gave the Predators a four minute power play.

While playing with the man advantage, the Predators managed just two shots on goal. Three other shot attempts were blocked by the Canucks.

It was a missed opportunity for Nashville, which saw its power play drop to 2-for-21 in the series. The lead – and the momentum – in the game was theirs for the taking, but they couldn’t take advantage.

Predators waste Juuse Saros’ outstanding night in net

The goaltending story of the series entering Friday was the Canucks’ injury situation. Coach Rick Tocchet was forced to play his backup goaltender in every game after Thatcher Demko’s injury in Game 1.

Then in Game 6, Saros made the goaltending story about him.

He was fantastic in net for Nashville, making 28 saves on 29 shots, including some incredible highlight reel stops.

But the Predators were unable to get anything by Saros’ counterpart Silovs. The late goal by Suter, set up by a pass from Boeser, was all that was needed for Vancouver to win the series.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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