Anders Lindback stopped 23 of 24 shots he faced in his first action of 2011-12. The Vancouver Canucks scored four times against starter Pekka Rinne, though, and the Nashville Predators lost 5-1 Thursday at Vancouver.
The first meeting of the season between the teams that played a six-game Western Conference semifinal series last season (Vancouver won in six games) turned into the Predators’ fourth straight defeat and their most lopsided of the season.
Nashville (2-3-1) was outshot for the sixth time in as many games this season. Vancouver’s advantage was 40-26.
Matt Halischuk tied it 1-1 when he scored 4:01 into the contest. Vancouver went back on top 1:55 later and added two more within a span of 1:26 later in the first period.
Rinne was pulled after the first period. He allowed four goals on 16 shots.
The first goal against him came when a pass from behind the net bounced off his back and in. The final one came when a deflected pass left him out of position to defend a subsequent shot.
Any chances for the Predators to mount a comeback were thwarted by a steady stream of penalties capped by coincidental calls against defensemen Ryan Suter (hooking) and Shea Weber (boarding, unsportsmanlike conduct) at 5:12 of the third period.
In all, 11 penalties were called against Nashville for a total of 30 minutes, a season-high.
Vancouver had 10 power-play opportunities and converted twice. Ryan Kesler, who had five goals and six assists during the playoff series, capped the scoring with his first goal of the season, 54 seconds after Weber and Suter were sent off together.
Nashville completes its current three-game road trip with an afternoon game Saturday at Calgary (3 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).