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Predators get even with Canucks, win 3-2

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Steve Sullivan couldn't beat
Roberto Luongo cleanly on a pair of breakaways, so he just whacked
away and hoped for the best.

Robbed by Luongo on a 1-on-1 earlier in the third period,
Sullivan knocked in his own rebound on a second breakaway with 5:41
left to lift the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win over the
Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Sullivan was almost past the goal line after being stopped the
second time, but managed to reach back and tap the loose puck just
over the prone goaltender.

"I was trying to go five hole and Luongo made a good save on
me, said Sullivan, who also was denied by a dramatic glove stop
minutes into the third. "But the puck was just lying there and I
was able to take a second whack at it and it fluttered in. I just
tried to get a stick on it and pray."

Sullivan also set up Ryan Suter's early power-play goal, and
rookie Alexander Radulov scored his second goal in four games as
Nashville improved to 7-0-1 since losing their first three games of
the season.

"We got off to a bad start this season and we have ground to
make up," said Tomas Vokoun, who made 22 saves to improve to 6-0-1
his last seven starts after giving up 11 goals in his first two.

The lone blemish over the Predators' last eight games was an
overtime loss to the Canucks 10 days earlier, when Vancouver
overcame a late deficit before winning in overtime. Tuesday's game
looked similar for a while.

Nashville jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Luongo kept the
Canucks in the game with a couple of neat glove saves before
Vancouver rallied.

Mattias Ohlund scored late in the second and Markus Naslund tied
it 8:12 into the third with a wrist shot from the slot that
trickled past Vokoun as he was bumped by Jan Bulis at the side of
the crease. Despite protests of goalie interference and a video
review, the goal stood.

"It wasn't a hard shot, I saw it all the way but at the exact
moment the shot came he made contact with me and kind of pushed me
over and I lost the puck," Vokoun said. "They checked upstairs
and said our defenseman pushed him into me."

Unlike the last meeting, however, Nashville had Sullivan in the
lineup. After missing the first game with a sore back, the speedy
winger jumped behind the defense after a bad Vancouver turnover and
was sent in alone by J.P. Dumont.

"He pushed me in the net with his stick (on the initial shot)
so I was almost facing the other way," Luongo said. "I don't know
if it was intentional or not but he got his stick on my pad and
with my momentum it drove me into my net so it's pretty tough to
make a save when you're in the goal."

Vancouver couldn't tie it after pulling Luongo for an extra
attacker. The Canucks buzzed the Nashville net in the final seconds
but couldn't beat Vokoun, instead losing for just the second time
in the last six games.

"We didn't deserve two points," said Ohlund, citing a slow
start that included him tipping Radulov's harmless 50-foot shot
perfectly over Luongo's glove 5:33 into the game.

Suter doubled the lead on the power play less than 3 minutes
later, pinching in to snap in Sullivan's cross crease pass from the
side of the net. Suter hit the cross bar on another power play
early in the second and Luongo made a dramatic glove save off
Vernon Fiddler on a 3-on-2 later in the period as the Canucks
avoided falling behind by three goals for the first time all
season.

"That's my job," said Luongo, who finished with 21 saves "I
hate getting down early like that all the time, it's a bit
challenging mentally when you give up two goals early, but you've
got to fight through those things and keep battling."

Ohlund made up his earlier gaffe by pulling the Canucks within a
goal just as a power play expired late in the second period,
scoring from just inside the blue line when Vokoun couldn't squeeze
the long shot between his arm and body.

Game notes
Canucks D Willie Mitchell is still suffering from
post-concussion symptoms after being hit into the glass in
Nashville 10 days ago and hasn't been cleared to even resume
exercising off the ice yet. ... Vancouver was 5-0-0 against Central
Division teams coming into the game. ... Predators LW Paul Kariya,
a Vancouver-area native, is one point short of 800 for his career.
... Nashville LW Martin Erat and Vancouver RW Taylor Pyatt both had
their five-game point streaks snapped.