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Predators 2, Canucks 1

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Predators 2, Canucks 1: Nick Spaling scored the game-winning goal with just under 7 1/2 minutes to play and assisted on the tying tally as visiting Nashville won for the fourth time in five games.

Craig Smith scored early in the third period and Carter Hutton turned aside 33 shots to win his fourth consecutive start as the Predators halted a four-game losig streak at the hands of Vancouver.

Chris Higgins scored the lone goal for the Canucks, who lost for the ninth time in 12 games (3-6-3). Roberto Luongo, who beat Nashville four times in the past year, made 24 saves but couldn't protect the one-goal lead entering the final 20 minutes.

Vancouver dominated the opening period with a 13-7 edge on shots but couldn't break the scoreless deadlock until just before the midpoint of the middle session. Dale Weise threw a shot at the net from the right point and Higgins stuck out his stick to deftly tip it past Hutton at 9:09.

The Predators pulled even at 3:28 of the third when Spaling skated behind the net and fed Smith for a one-timer from the right dot before going ahead just under nine minutes later when Spaling deflected rookie defenseman Seth Jones' straight-on blast on the power play with 7:22 remain. Hutton preserved the lead by denying Higgins on a breakaway.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Canucks captain Henrik Sedin (ribs) sat out his second straight contest after having his 679-game ironman streak halted ... Predators D Michael Del Zotto, acquired from the New York Rangers, was paired with Jones in his Nashville debut. ... The Canucks will sign veteran F Vinny Prospal to an American League tryout. Prospal, who will turn 39 next month, had 12 goals and 30 points with Columbus last season and has played under suspended Vancouver coach John Tortorella with Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140124/predators-2-canucks-1