Blake Geoffrion scored his second goal in as many games and Pekka Rinne recorded his fifth shutout of the season as the Nashville Predators got a much-needed victory, 3-0 over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday in Vancouver.
“It feels great,” Rinne said. “Obviously, it’s been a little bit of a struggle for us lately. Vancouver is an outstanding team.”
Rinne made 29 saves, including 12 in the third period, against the team with the NHL’s best record. He faced at least 30 shots in each of the previous four shutouts.
It was the 19th time Rinne held an opponent scoreless and moved him within two of Tomas Vokoun’s all-time franchise record.
For a time, it seemed every save was essential. The Predators, who had lost five of their previous six, did all of their scoring in the final period. Geoffrion broke the scoreless tie 1:59 after the second intermission and David Legwand capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 35 seconds to play.
They now have scored three times in the third period of each of their last two victories.
Jordin Tootoo had the primary assist on Geoffrion’s goal. It was the first point in six games since Tootoo returned from a personal leave for treatment in the league’s substance abuse and behavioral program.
Geoffrion, who made his NHL debut less than a week ago, now has two goals in four games.
Patric Hornqvist made it 2-0 when he stripped the puck from former Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis and scored unassisted at 17:39. It was Hornvist’s team-leading 18th goal of the season.
“I saw [Hamhuis] was the last guy,” Hornqvist said. “He didn’t see me coming so I tried to take it from him, and it worked.”