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Canucks 5, Predators 2

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NASHVILLE - The Vancouver Canucks skated another stride closer to the Northwest Division title Monday night and the Nashville Predators can officially make offseason plans for the golf course.

Jason Garrison's power play goal late in the second period snapped a 2-2 tie and Alexandre Burrows added an insurance tally 50 seconds into the third period as the Canucks stopped the injury-riddled Predators 5-2.

Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy also scored for Vancouver (24-12-6), which increased its division lead over Minnesota to seven points and took sole possession of third place in the Western Conference.

Goalkeeper Roberto Luongo stopped 35 of 37 shots for his fourth straight win.

Nashville (15-21-8) absorbed its seventh straight loss and was eliminated from playoff contention. The Predators, who haven't won since a 3-1 decision over Colorado on April 2, played without nine skaters who were on the opening night roster -- six due to injury.

Kesler started the scoring at 1:34, ripping a wrist shot from the slot past Pekka Rinne for his third goal of the year. It came 44 seconds after Nashville drew a bench minor for having too many men on the ice.

Roy made it 2-0 at 4:34, pouncing on the rebound of a Dan Hamhuis wrister and backhanding it into the net. It was his fifth goal of the season and first with the Canucks since being acquired from Dallas on April 2.

The Predators roared to life in the second period, peppering Luongo with 19 shots and tying the game. Nick Spaling notched his eighth goal of the year off Sergei Kostitsyn's pass at 1:34, followed by Bobby Butler's third on a wrister from the right side at 11:40.

But Garrison untied it at 17:04 with a slap shot from the blue line, six seconds after Hal Gill was sent off for roughing.

Vancouver iced it in the third with Burrows' deflection of a Daniel Sedin pass that upped the margin to 4-2 and Kesler's second goal of the night at 15:53.

Notes: Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for the victims of the explosions in Boston, which killed two and injured more than 130 ... Nashville called up defenseman Mattias Ekholm from Milwaukee of the AHL to replace Kevin Klein, who suffered an upper-body injury in Sunday night's 3-0 loss to Detroit. ... Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin played in his 622nd straight game, the second-longest current streak in the NHL behind St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. ... The Predators have now lost more than 100 man-games to injury or illness this year, many coming in the last month.
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