Weber, Predators take aim at win over Canucks

9:47 AM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Shea Weber hopes to maintain his recent scoring touch as the Nashville Predators host the Vancouver Canucks for Friday's battle at Bridgestone Arena.

The All-Star defenseman went without a goal in his first 14 games of the season before scoring in three straight contests. Weber has three goals and two assists over that stretch and now has seven points on the season.

Weber helped Nashville end a two-game slide on Tuesday as he scored 44 seconds into overtime to give the Predators a 4-3 victory over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

"He's scored in three straight games here for us," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz about Weber. "He's a great talent for us and once he gets going it's really tough to stop him."

Weber added an assist on Craig Smith's first-period tally, while Colin Wilson recorded a pair of helpers to aid in the Predators halting a two-game skid. Gabriel Bourque and Roman Josi also had goals for Nashville, which received 26 saves out of goaltender Pekka Rinne as well.

The Predators played Tuesday without forward Paul Gaustad and he is expected to sit out Friday's contest as well.

Vancouver was able to halt a three-game skid with a win Thursday in Dallas. The Canucks had been stuck in an 0-1-2 slump that came on the heels of a season-best six-game winning streak.

Henrik Sedin's goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner in Thursday's 4-3 decision over the Stars. The score was tied at 2-2 heading into the third period, but Vancouver received goals from Jason Garrison and Sedin in the first five minutes of the final stanza before holding on for the one- goal victory.

Kevin Bieksa and Alexandre Burrows each added a goal for the Canucks, while Cory Schneider made 22 saves in the victory.

"Really happy with the way we responded," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said of his team coming from behind. "We were able to stick to the plan and after two periods we had a tie game. It was one of those hard fought games."

Canucks forward Jannik Hansen sat out Thursday's contest due to a one-game suspension for hitting Chicago's Marian Hossa with an elbow to the back of the head in Tuesday's 4-3 loss. Hansen, who has just four penalty minutes in 15 games this season, is eligible to return on Friday.

Vancouver is playing the third segment of a four-game road trip that's set to end Sunday in Detroit. The Canucks are 4-1-2 as the visiting team on the season.

The Preds have won four of the last seven meetings against the Canucks, but Vancouver has taken seven of the previous 10 encounters in Music City.

Nashville is 4-1-3 as the host this season.

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