Fisher’s goal leads Predators over Canucks
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Fisher wasn’t feeling all that well when he skated with his Nashville Predators teammates on Tuesday morning.
Flulike symptoms had sidelined him for Sunday’s game at Dallas, and he took the day off on Monday, too. Uncertain if he would be able to play Tuesday night at home against Vancouver, the Predators recalled Chris Mueller from Milwaukee of the AHL for standby insurance.
He wasn’t needed.
Fisher hit the ice as though nothing was bothering him, scored one goal and assisting on two others in the Predators’ 4-1 win over the Canucks on Tuesday night.
“The last couple of days haven’t been very fun for him,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “I was worried about his energy and strength.
“I thought he had good jump and good energy. He was going up against the Sedin line head-to-head, and I thought he played very strong against them.”
The Predators, who have won back-to-back games, are 11-0-3 when Fisher scores. The Canucks had a four-game winning streak end.
“I felt a lot better than I thought I was going to be,” Fisher said. “Judging by the morning I was pretty tired after a short skate.”
Fisher felt better at 5:42 of the second period when he scored a power-play goal. Fisher made a backdoor move toward the net, and Ryan Suter found him with a pass from the right circle. Fisher tipped the puck inside the left post and off of goalie Roberto Luongo’s right pad.
“Obviously, getting that goal kind of gives you a little bit of a boost,” Fisher said. “After the first few shifts I knew I would be fine. I really didn’t think it was going to be a huge issue. Everyone played well, and it was a huge win for us, so it was easy for me to fit in.”
At 13:16 of the second, Fisher assisted on a short-handed goal. Newly acquired Nashville defenseman Hal Gill took control of the puck in the Predators’ end and passed it to Fisher, who joined Sergei Kostitsyn on a 2-on-1 break. Kostitsyn shot from low in the right circle to beat Luongo.
With the Predators leading 2-0, Dale Weise scored the lone goal for Vancouver at 16:52 of the second. He scored with a backhand as he skated across the crease in front of goalie Pekka Rinne.
“I thought we played well,” Weise said. “I think my goal gave us a spark. Their goalie stood on his head.”
The Predators had several attempts to increase their lead in the third period with two shots bouncing off posts. David Legwand added an insurance goal with 2:51 left in the third period when he scored from the slot as Luongo pulled too far out of the net.
Fisher was credited with an assist on Legwand’s goal for his third three-point game of the season.
“We rang two off of the bar and had some chances to really push away a little bit,” Trotz said. “We didn’t, but we were able to stabilize it.”
Rinne stopped 32 shots for his 33rd win of the season. Luongo made 25 saves.
“It was a hard-fought game by both teams battling for every inch on the ice,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. “Both goaltenders were doing a good job out there.
“In the third period, they took their game up a notch and they were the better team. They had way more opportunities than we did, and they deserved to win.”
NOTES: The Predators held the opposition scoreless in the first period for the first time in six games. … Vancouver has scored 66 goals in the first period, tops in the NHL. … The Predators have scored 16 goals on the power play in 20 games. … Vancouver LW Alex Burrows played in his 500th NHL game. … The Predators have allowed 10 second-period goals in the last 24 games.