Goalie Saros earns 100th win, Predators defeat Canucks 4-2
By JIM DIAMOND
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Filip Forsberg scored twice and Juuse Saros made 30 saves in the 100th win of his NHL career, leading the Nashville Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
"It's pretty cool," Saros said. "You don't really think about those things growing up, you just try to make it to the NHL. I've obviously played with a lot of good guys and good teams, so they've helped me getting to that number."
Ryan Johansen and Tanner Jeannot also scored for Nashville, which has won four of its last five games.
Matthew Highmore and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for the Canucks. Thatcher Demko made 24 saves for Vancouver, which has lost two of three, and completed its four-game road trip 2-1-1.
"That was four games in six nights in four different cities, that's a lot of travel," Vancouver coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We played a pretty good team that was rested. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they were pretty fatigued, but they never quit."
Saros, who earlier Tuesday was named the NHL's second star for the month of January, is headed to Las Vegas later this week for his first All-Star game appearance.
"It's a great feather in his cap to get the 100 wins, and I think it's great for the organization that you have a guy like him that's your lead dog in net," Predators coach John Hynes said.
Highmore scored the game's first goal at 7:56 of the opening period.
Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm's attempted pass at center ice hit a skate and bounced to the right wall, where Juho Lammikko carried it into the Nashville zone and found Highmore in the slot. He beat Saros on the glove side.
The Predators took a brief lead after goals by Johansen and Forsberg in a 1:08 span.
Johansen tied it at 14:22 of the first on a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot, just one second after a penalty on Jeannot expired.
The Predators are the only team to not score a short-handed goal this season.
Forsberg followed with a goal at 15:30, redirecting Philippe Myers' shot from the point past Demko.
"I just try to do the same thing every night, try to come prepared to every practice, every game," Forsberg said.
Ekman-Larsson sent the teams to the first intermission tied at 2 with a spinning shot from the blue line through traffic that eluded Saros at 17:36.
Forsberg's second goal of the game came at 3:12 of the second, with Nashville on a power pay.
Jeannot pounced on a rebound of Ekholm's shot at 1:28 of the third for his 14th goal of the season, tops among NHL rookies.
FORSBERG ON FIRE
With his two-goal game, Forsberg extended his goal-scoring streak to four games. With a goal and an assist in his previous three games, Forsberg has notched eight points in his last four games.
He has 13 goals in his last 14 games.
Vancouver forward Nils Hoglander was a healthy scratch Tuesday night, the first time in his 101-game NHL career. Hoglander has not scored a goal since New Year's day, a stretch of 11 games without finding the back of the net. His last point came Jan. 18, an assist in Vancouver's game in Nashville.
FABBRO, TOLVANEN RETURN
The Predators welcomed defenseman Dante Fabbro and forward Eeli Tolvanen back to the lineup Tuesday. Tolvanen missed Nashville's last three games due to being in COVID-19 protocol. Fabbro returned after missing six games with an upper-body injury.
Predators: Visit the Dallas Stars on Feb. 9, following the All-Star break.
Canucks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 8, after the break.
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Updated February 1, 2022