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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 19th (All times Eastern)

Nashville Predators (29-30-10) at Vancouver Canucks (31-30-10), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams falling back in the Western Conference playoff race square off on Wednesday night looking for key points as the Vancouver Canucks play host to the Nashville Predators.

Though coming off a split of a four-game road trip, the Canucks' 4-3 setback to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night was their 14th in 18 games and has the club five points back of the second wild card spot.

The Predators are nine points back of that final postseason berth as they have lost six of their last nine games. That includes a 5-1 setback on Tuesday night to the Edmonton Oilers, who sit last in the West.

Gabriel Bourque scored the only goal of the game for the Predators, who have dropped their last two contests, and Pekka Rinne was pulled halfway through the third period after yielding five goals on 26 shots. Carter Hutton saved all four shots he faced in relief.

"It's very disappointing. These are the games you absolutely want to win," said Rinne. "You have to tip your hat (to the Oilers). They played well, played hard and we didn't."

It is unknown if Rinne or Hutton will get the call tonight. Rinne is 5-7-1 with a 2.87 goals against average in 15 previous meetings with the Canucks, while Hutton beat them the only other time he faced them by allowing just one goal on 34 shots.

Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack has never faced the Predators and is coming off Monday's setback to the Lightning in which he yielded four goals on 30 shots.

Alexandre Burrows had two goals and also assisted on Jannik Hansen's short- handed tally. That gave Burrows five goals in his last four games after failing to light the lamp over his first 35 games of the season, but it hasn't translated into wins for the club.

"Goals are nice, but we need to win games," Burrows said. "I'd rather win 1-0 than lose 4-3 and score goals."

The Canucks and Predators have split two meetings this season, with each club winning once on the road.

Vancouver's 3-1 victory on Dec. 3 featured two third-period goals by Ryan Kesler, who is currently out with a sprained right knee.

Nashville countered with a 2-1 triumph on Jan. 23, keyed by Hutton and a two- point night by Nick Spaling.

The Canucks, who lost to the Preds for the first time in the last five meetings, have won seven of the last 10 overall in this series.

03/19 10:47:35 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
Final
CHI 86
LAC 96
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
 
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
 
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
 
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
 
4th
LAL 84
OKC 91
 
1st
DEN 16
NOP 21
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
2nd
WAKE 67
PITT 63
 
2nd
STAN 51
OREG 51
 
Half
OSU 23
PURD 35
 
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
2nd
WAS 2
TOR 0
 
1st
DAL 0
ANA 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
STL