Canucks, Predators look to stop skids in Nashville matchup

The month of November has not been kind to the Nashville Predators and the Vancouver Canucks.

Looking to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat, the Predators will try to hand the visiting Canucks their fourth straight loss on Thursday night.

Things were looking good for Nashville when it closed October on a 4-0-2 stretch. However, the final game of the span was a 6-5 overtime home defeat to Calgary on Halloween. The calendar then turned to November, where the Predators are 1-5-1, have lost three straight in regulation and are 0-4-1 since a 6-1 win at Detroit on Nov. 4.

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"When you're in a bad stretch, you lose two, three four or whatever in a row, you've got to band together. Stick together and come out of it," winger Rocco Grimaldi told the Predators' official website. Grimaldi assisted on Nick Bonino's ninth goal in Tuesday's 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg,

"It's actually good we're going through this," he added. "It's good that we're going through this in November. Hopefully, this is something that we can learn from and it can bond us together."

If the Predators are to get back on track by also avoiding a fifth straight home loss, they likely need to improve a power play that's 2 for 13 over the past five games. And, a defense that's allowed 24 non-shootout goals during that stretch.

That span also included a 5-3 loss at Vancouver on Nov. 12. Veteran Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne allowed four goals and made just 21 saves. Including that contest, Rinne has posted a brutal 6.72 goals-against average and .787 save percentage while losing three straight starts.

Rinne was chased after giving up four goals in roughly 31.5 minutes of Saturday's 7-2 home loss to Chicago. Backup Juuse Saros, who stopped 23 shots Tuesday, is 1-5-1 with a 2.99 goals-against average as a starter this season.

While Nashville looks to right the ship, Vancouver's only win over its past eight games came against the Predators. The Canucks went 5-0-3 from Oct. 20-Nov. 5 but suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to St. Louis in the final game of that stretch to initiate a 1-5-2 rut.

Vancouver also will look to avoid a fourth consecutive road defeat after being ripped 6-1 at Dallas on Tuesday. Bo Horvat scored his seventh goal for the Canucks, who have been outscored 15-7 during that three-game road slide.

"You're not going to win many games when you let six goals in," Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, who allowed all six Tuesday and has a 3.16 goals-against average while going 0-4-2 in November, told his team's official website.

"It's pretty obvious when we're on our game or not."

Vancouver backup Thatcher Demko made 34 saves against the Predators. He's 5-2-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average on the season.

Tanner Pearson and Elias Pettersson each had two goals versus Nashville. The talented Pettersson had four points in three straight games before being blanked Tuesday. He has three goals with two assists in four games versus Nashville.

The Predators' Filip Forsberg ran his goal streak to four games with his ninth of season at Vancouver last week. He's been shut out in the two contests since but has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak against the Canucks.

--Field Level Media

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