The 21-year-old Dane scored his third goal in seven NHL games to
spark the Canucks to a 2-0 win over the equally offense-challenged
Nashville Predators on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena.
All three of Jensen's goals have come on quick wrist shots from the
"Henrik (Sedin) did a great job of getting the puck over to me,"
Jensen said of the pass he took from his center. "I try to work on
my shot as much as possible every day.
"If you have a good release, you can score from further out and from
Defenseman Alex Edler, with a hard one-timer from the point on a
power play, made it 2-0 at 7:14 of the third period, 1:13 after
Jensen's opening goal.
Canucks goalie Eddie Lack stopped 30 shots for his fourth shutout of
the season. Carter Hutton stopped 20 of 22 shots in the Nashville
Jensen's arrival from AHL Utica on March 7 rejuvenated Sedin and
left winger Alex Burrows.
Burrows, who missed 32 games this season due to two serious
injuries, hadn't scored in 35 games before Jensen joined the top
line. Now he has five goals and four assists for nine points in his
past six games.
Sedin, with two helpers on Wednesday, is 1-5-6 in his past six
"For a young guy, his positioning both with and without the puck is
very good," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "He understands the
game and positioning, he's ahead of schedule, for sure."
Both teams, with their playoff hopes fading by the day, were tired
and played like it.
Heading into the game, Vancouver had the NHL's second-worst offense
(2.2 goals a game), and Nashville had the fifth-worst (2.38).
The Predators (29-31-10) were playing for the second night in a row
and the fourth time in six days. The Canucks (32-30-10) had a
back-to-back of their own Sunday and Monday, then flew back from
Florida to make it three games in four nights.
Tortorella correctly anticipated a grinding, dull affair.
"The first goal wins, I figured it would be that kind of a game," he
Lack was making his 12th consecutive start in goal for the Canucks.
His play has been uneven since Roberto Luongo was traded to the
Florida Panthers nine games ago, but he was solid — he didn't need
to be spectacular — on Wednesday.
"Low-scoring games, high-scoring games, you never know what to
expect," Lack said. "But I didn't want to let a goal in."
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The Canucks' penalty kill, which until January arrived was tops in
the league, was down to 12th heading into the game, thanks to the PK
allowing 24 goals in 95 power plays (a 72.6 success rate) beginning
with six power-play goals by the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 15.
However, Vancouver's penalty kill went 4-for-4 against Nashville.
Mathematically, both clubs are still in the hunt for the postseason,
but realistically, neither has much of a chance.
One online oddsmaker, sportsclubstats.com, gives the Canucks a 1.3
percent chance of joining the Stanley Cup tournament, the Predators
a 0.3 percent chance.
Nashville is 4-8-2 its past 14 games, and the slump seemed to weigh
heavy on defenseman Shea Weber, the club's captain.
"Our offense has gone dry now, and that's frustrating," Weber said.
"We need to score goals when it counts, and that's not working right
"I have no idea what's gone wrong.
"We talk about it, we say we need to do all these things we want to
do, but until we go out and do it, it means nothing."
NOTES: Predators C Paul Gaustad went down awkwardly under Canucks D
Alex Edler 12:18 into the first period and left the game with an
upper-body injury. ... Nashville D Shea Weber, with 44 points
overall and 9-22-31 his last 39 games, is one of four defensemen to
lead his team in scoring. The Preds are 12-1-2 when Weber scores.
... Weber is the only player in the NHL to have more than 100 hits,
100 blocked shots and 10 goals. ... Canucks LW Alex Burrows left the
game briefly after receiving a vicious slash to the wrist from Weber
on the goal by RW Nicklas Jensen. Burrows retreated to the dressing
room for treatment but returned to play a few more shifts. ...
Canucks D Chris Tanev is done for the season (barring a playoff run)
after blocking a shot with his hand at Tampa Bay on Monday.
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