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NHL: Can the Canucks (minus Burrows) strum out a win in Music City?
The Canucks will face a Shea Weber-less Nashville Predators team in Tennessee on Tuesday – perhaps an opportunity to right a ship that's steered dramatically off-course in the past month.
On Tuesday, Vancouver will play the Preds for the first time this season. The Canucks are coming off a 3-2 win against the Hurricanes in Raleigh, but that followed a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers the night before. The Canucks have won just three games in their last 11 entering Tuesday.
Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler led the way in Carolina with two goals, and goalie Eddie Lack made 29 saves for the win. The Canucks opened the scoring and led 2-0 before the Canes came back to tie it 2-2 in the second period, but Kesler added the winner less than a minute later.
"When you score two quick ones in a road game, it backs them off a bit," Kesler said after the game (NHL.com). "You've got to give them credit though. They came back in the second and it was a whole new hockey game."
The Canucks were shorthanded for 11:33 of Sunday's game, and had to kill eight Carolina powerplays to preserve the win.
In Nashville (and beyond), Vancouver will be without winger Alex Burrows, who will be out a minimum of four weeks with a broken jaw. Canucks coach John Tortorella broke the news on Tuesday. Burrows suffered the injury when he was hit in the face by a Chris Tanev clearing attempt in Carolina on Sunday.
He did return to the game, but is now out indefinitely. It's the second injury Burrows has sustained this season – he broke his foot blocking a shot in the Canucks' season opener on October 3, against San Jose.
Burrows has no goals in 17 games playes this season.
The Predators, meanwhile, dropped a 3-2 decision (in a shootout) to the quietly climbing Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. Nashville threw 36 shots towards Philly goalie Chris Mason, while Preds tender Marek Mazanec stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced.
Nashville led 2-1 in the third period before Sean Couturier tied it, and Vincent Lecavalier won it in the skills competition.
"We should have won the game, but we didn't," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "We couldn't hold onto the lead. Their one play, they capitalized on it, got it tied up, and I thought Mason came up with some pretty big saves for them."
Mazanec is filling in in net for perennial all-star Pekka Rinne, who is out with an injury. In Rinne's absence, Mazanec is 5-4-1 with two shutouts through 11 games played.
Weber will miss Tuesday's game against Vancouver after taking a puck to the eye last Thursday in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. D-man Kevin Klein will also miss the Canucks game and will be out for a minimum of two weeks with a foot injury.