Dakota Joshua scores 2 goals to help lift Canucks past Predators 4-2 in Game 1 of playoff series

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Dakota Joshua scored twice and had an assist and the Vancouver Canucks stormed back for a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Sunday night.

Trailing 2-1, the Canucks rallied with a pair of goals 12 seconds apart — by Pius Suter and Joshua — midway through the third period.

Elias Lindholm also scored and Thatcher Demko stopped 20 shots for Vancouver, which was the Pacific Division champion and hosted a playoff game for the first time since 2015.

Jason Zucker and Ryan O’Reilly scored for Nashville, and Juuse Saros made 17 saves.

The Canucks were trailing 2-1 when Suter tied it 8:59 into the third. Quin Hughes took a pass from Brock Boeser and blasted a shot that deflected off Suter and past Saros from just inside the blue line.

Just 12 seconds later, Lindholm checked Jeremy Lauzon behind the Predators’ net and shook him off the puck. Conor Garland picked it up and flicked it to Joshua, who sent it in from the top of the crease to put Vancouver up 3-2.

Demko preserved the one-goal advantage with a series of late stops, including one on Roman Josi with 1:49 left.

The Predators pulled Saros and Joshua took advantage, scoring his second goal of the night into an empty net with 1:28 remaining and sealing the victory.

Nashville opened the scoring 15:15 in when Zucker took a pass from Josi and sent a shot through traffic from the top of the faceoff circle and beat Demko stick side.

Lindholm tied it 47 seconds into the second by sending a long wrist shot past Saros.

The Canucks ran into penalty trouble midway through the second, taking three calls in just over six minutes. Nashville capitalized on their first man-advantage after Teddy Blueger was sent to the box for interference.

Gustav Nyquist slid a pass to O’Reilly, who launched a shot into the top corner of Vancouver’s net. It was O’Reilly’s 26th career playoff goal.

NOTES: The Canucks had 39 hits, while the Predators had 32. Predators forward Cole Smith had a game-high six. … Josi has 32 career postseason assists, setting a Predators record. He also holds the franchise mark for playoff points by a defenseman with 43.


Game 2 is Tuesday in Vancouver.


AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

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