Joel Ward scored an early goal but more importantly drew a pair of third-period penalties that helped the Nashville Predators defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Monday at Vancouver.
Shea Weber scored the game-winner 24 seconds into a 4-on-3 segment, which began when Predators’ Ryan Jones was called for hooking with 4:49 to play, and broke a tie that had been in place for nearly 35 minutes.
Four seconds after Jones went to the box, Ward was knocked down by Canucks’ forward Alexandre Burrows, who was called for interference. It was 18 seconds later that Ward was dumped behind his own net by Henrik Sedin, who was called for tripping.
Weber’s goal was his eighth of the season, his fifth on the power play. It was the Predators’ second power-play goal of the contest and sixth in the last four games.
The teams traded four goals through the first 21:30 of the contest and forged a 2-2 tie.
Ward put the Predators up 1-0 with a shorthanded goal 2:02 into the contest, and Jones made it 2-1 with a power play goal with 28 seconds to go in the first period. Burrows even the score both times, the second with a power play goal 1:30 into the second period.
Ward was questionable prior to the contest with a wrist injury. Three other forwards – captain Jason Arnott (upper body), Jerred Smithson (hand) and Jordin Tootoo (foot) remained sidelined.
The Predators continue a three-game road trip Tuesday at Edmonton (8 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).
• Earlier Monday, Predators’ defenseman Ryan Suter was named an alternate captain for the United States team, which will compete next month at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
He was one of four players named to the team’s leadership group alongside New Jersey forward Jamie Langenbrunner, who was named captain.
Suter has been a part of seven U.S. national teams but never has played in the Olympics. He was on the 2004 national junior team, which won the World Junior Championships, and in 2005 was team captain for the U.S. at that same event.