VANCOUVER – Join another for Elija Pettersson.
The novice won in his first NHL punished shot Thursday when the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3 to capture a four-game losing goal.
Pettersson made it look easy, grabbing through the ice, making a few dozens, then swinging his foot before the pin of Nashville leader Pekka Rinne to give Vancouver 4-1 lead late in the second period.
"I tried to fake and go left to the left," said Pettersson, who also had help in the victory. "It exploded this time."
Bo Horvat said it was the kind of play the Cans expected from the 20-year-old Swedish.
"It was a highly qualified movement of a high-quality player," said Horvat, who had the goal and assistant. "You're waiting for him to do such things and it's nice to see him come in for him."
Pettersson was awarded the penalty shooting with 71 seconds left in the second after being thrown down on a pause by Nashville defender Mattias Ekholm. He was about his foot.
"I was mostly tired," he said. "I was resting for a while. I was ready to go when the refrigeration blew the whistle."
Pettersson, who was chosen fifth in general in the 2017 project, leads all the novices with 14 goals and 25 points. He started the season with nine goals and six aids in his first nine games but had only one goal and three help in his last eight.
"Some games you can create a lot and have null points," he said. "Sometimes you create two chances and you have two points.
"I just focus on playing a good game, then the points will come to an end."
Jake Virtanen also had a goal and help for the Cannons, which have only two wins in their last 14 games (2-10-2).
Alex Edler, on the power, and Loui Eriksson also won for Vancouver (12-16-3). Antoine Roussel had two assists. Nikolay Goldobin, a healthy gratitude in the 3rd loss of Vancouver to Minnesota on Tuesday, helped Edler's goal, giving him team-leading 13 assists.
Ryan Hartman, Colton Sissons and Matt Irwin won for Nashville (19-9-1), who saw a second game win.
The line of Horvat, Virtanen and Roussel was particularly effective, combining six points, a pair of goals and creating many options.
"I felt at our speed that we had a great deal of capture at 2 a-1," said Virtanen.
With just 26 seconds left in the first period, Horvat took food from Virtanen, and then shot firing under the cross.
"Bo had a great end," said Virtanen. "It was a perfect shot."
Virtanen's goal came early in the second period on a 2-rupture started by Horvat. Roussel took the push in the Nashville end, and later defender Ryan Ellis deployed that Virtanen exploded Rinne.
The Predators, who played without three of their top-ups and one of their best defender, appeared slowly early and tried 2-0 after 20 minutes.
"That was a little ugly," said Sissons. "We left extremely slow and (with) a lack of determination and they were quite the opposite.
"We're not ready to play."
The Predators made interesting things with some goals late in the third period.
"I thought we retired in the second half of the game, but it was too late," said coach Peter Laviolette. "The beginning was not good, and it ended up costing the game."
Captain leaders Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots. He, making his sixth straight start, made 21 safe before being replaced to start the third period by Juuse Saros. He stopped four shots.
The victory hit a certain confidence in the Canoe's marches when the team goes on the road for games in St. Louis, Columbus and Nashville.
"I can not stress how huge it was for us," said Horvat, who now has nine points (three goals and six help) in the last nine games. "We must continue it now.
"We can not win one, then lose a couple. We must support our spirits high and keep the positive moment by entering the way and try and get some victories."
NOTES: Eriksson's goal was his first point in 11 games. … In the course of 1:40 during the first period, Edler won a goal, with the great success of the Yannick Weber of Nashville, then called a penalty. … The Cannons went 0 for 12 in the power in their previous four games. … The Predators played without before Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson, and defender P. Subban, all due to wound.