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Missed opportunities spell doom as Predators are shut out by Vancouver


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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Strasinge

It’s never a good sign when you out-shoot an opponent 13-3 in the first period and nothing gets past their goaltender. It’s an even worse sign when the balance begins to tip back in the favor of the opposing team as the game stretches along.

While the Predators battled to capitalize on one of their many chances throughout the game, the Canucks beat them to the punch. Dale Weise scored with 10:46 left to go in the third period as the Vancouver Canucks escaped Nashville with a 1-0 shutout winover the Predators

Nashville started the game with a bang against a hot Canucks team that was coming off a 4-3 win against Dallas, however none of the 13 shots the Predators put on Roberto Luongo (while many of them were excellent chances of producing a goal on the board) slid past the red line.

“It gets frustrating, but it’s probably more frustrating as a coach if you’re not putting pucks to the blue paint, or anybody getting there,” said Coach Barry Trotz. “I wasn’t frustrated in the first, I said ‘if we can keep that up, we’ll eventually score. And if we don’t it’s because they’re goaltender is having one of those games.'”

Unfortunately for Nashville, Roberto Luongo wouldn’t be letting anything through him this evening. As the second period rolled around, the Canucks re-composed themselves during intermission and outshot the Predators 9 to 5 as their chances slowly increased towards Pekka Rinne.

“They didn’t start the game well, we had some chances in the first. Since the second period, they were coming harder, but we still defended well. They didn’t have lots of chances, we didn’t either,” said goaltender Pekka Rinne. “It was just one of those defensive battles. Obviously, it’s tough to take that kind of loss.”

The level of frustration for the Predators continued to rise as the game went along. Nashville could only muster 5 shots in the third compared to Vancouver’s 12. However, it would only take one Dale Weise goal to seal the deal for the Canucks. After Weise’s goal, the level of intensity for the Predators seemed be kickstarted like a lit match, however too many bodies in the way and too many sticks on the ice continued to compound Nashville’s already irritating night against Luongo.

“I’m more frustrated when we’re not creating a forecheck, we’re not getting any chances, and we’re in our end too much. I get more frustrated with that or we’re not going to the net or we’re not shooting,” said Trotz. “We had some chances to shoot the puck, extra pass, could we have shot? Yeah. Could we have scored? I do know this: if you don’t shoot the puck, you have zero chance to score. So, we gotta keep shooting pucks at the net.”

Although the Predators dropped the first of their back to back that sees them play tomorrow night in Detroit, facing a Red Wings team that has dropped 5 straight, Nashville has to push this loss out of their mind and focus on a laying-in-wait Detroit team.

“You can’t really get too low. We play tomorrow night and it’s a disappointing loss [tonight], but then again we have a chance to bounce back right away tomorrow night,” said Rinne. “I think right now we just have to focus on that, but at the same time you have to learn from this game. It’s an old story, but we have to execute a little better and score a few more goals”