Predators can't keep pace with high-scoring Canucks

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 11:49pm

Nick Spaling scored his second goal in as many games but the Nashville Predators lost 7-4 to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday in Vancouver.

The Predators never led but got within one with 4:19 to play on Gabriel Bourque’s team-leading eighth goal of the season. The Canucks put it away, though, when Henrik Sedin converted a penalty shot with 2:34 remaining. They added an empty-net goal, the first allowed by Nashville this season.

Spaling got the Predators within two, 4-2, with his goal (his fifth of the season) at 6:01 of the second period, 29 seconds after starting goalie Pekka Rinne was pulled. Rinne allowed four goals on 12 shots before he gave way to Chris Mason, who allowed two goals on nine shots.

Before he scored Tuesday at Dallas, Spaling had gone 10 games without a goal.

Vancouver got the scoring started on its second shot. Andrew Ebbett converted a turnover into a 1-0 lead 1:25 into the contest.

Nashville tied it briefly on Matt Halischuk’s first goal of the season, but Vancouver went ahead to stay at 5:20 of the first period. The lead was 3-1 after one period and 5-2 after two.

Halischuk also had an assist on Mike Fisher’s third-period goal, which gave him three points (one goal, two assists) in two games since his return from a conditioning stint at Milwaukee.

Ebbett and Jannik Hansen each had a goal and two assists for the Canucks.

The Predators get right back at it when they play Friday at Calgary (8 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).