VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Anders Lindback seems to have the Vancouver Canucks' number.
The young Swedish goalie came off the bench and played well in Vancouver for the second time this season to lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-5 victory over the Canucks on Thursday night.
``We realized we had to start playing better for our goaltender,' defenseman Shea Weber said after Lindback relieved starter Pekka Rinne at 10:29 of the second period.
Lindback made several key saves to allow the Predators to come back and eventually beat the Canucks on Mike Fisher's goal with 1:16 left in regulation.
The Canucks had taken a 5-3 lead on 18 shots, but Lindback shut the door with 19 saves. When he replaced Rinne in Vancouver in a 5-1 loss on Oct. 20, he allowed only one goal on 24 shots.
In the third period Thursday, he gave Nashville a chance to win with a pad save on Cody Hodgson, denied Keith Ballard on the doorstep, and foiled Dan Hamhuis' spin move.
``I think the guys did a really good job of letting me handle the first pucks and took away the rebounds,' Lindback said. ``It's always nice to get a few (shots) right away. It's a confidence boost, (you) get warm and feel the pucks. I felt good out there.'
The Predators capitalized on all three of their power plays, but they relied too much on their goalies as they were outshot 37-20.
``I think even after (Lindback) came in we were still too loose defensively, but he made some big saves and we had some timely goals,' Weber said.
Fisher's second goal of the night was the most timely. He took Martin Erat's pass and backhanded the puck over a sprawling Roberto Luongo with time running out.
``They were taking it to us late and we just got one chance and buried it,' Fisher said of the only goal of the final period. ``In the third period anything can happen and we just found a way.'
So did Lindback.
``He's a young guy and he's been solid for us,' Fisher said. ``You don't see a lot of him because of how good Pekka is, but when we need him he's there.'
It was not a good night for goalies as the Predators, who lost 1-0 in Calgary on Tuesday, got away from their stifling defensive style.
They scored three times on five shots at Canucks backup Cory Schneider, who was making his seventh straight start and riding a five-game winning streak with a goals-against average of 0.79.
Schneider didn't get charged with the loss as Luongo gave up a two-goal lead.
Both Rinne and Luongo were Vezina Trophy finalists last season.
``We deserved a better fate,' said Luongo, who started the second period. ``It was unfortunate they got that late goal on a pretty good play.
``I didn't get much action, obviously, and they scored a couple of nice goals.'
David Legwand, Weber and Fisher staked Nashville to a 3-1 first-period lead. Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson got the Predators even at 5 with goals 1:21 apart.
Nashville has scored eight power-play goals in seven games.
Hodgson, Daniel Sedin, Aaron Volpatti, with his first goal in 36 games, Alex Burrows and Jannick Hansen scored for the Canucks, who had two power-play goals.
It was an out-of-character game for both clubs. Last season they combined for only 14 goals in four meetings with each other.
The Predators, who had scored only five goals in their previous four games, improved to 12-9-4 with their second win in three games. Vancouver dropped to 14-10-1.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz wasn't happy with this shootout.
``The positive is Anders was really good and that when things got turned about in the second (period) we were able to find a way to stay with it,' Trotz said.
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said the game was fun for the fans but didn't follow his plan.
``It was an entertaining game without a doubt, not the way we had drawn it up,' Vigneault said. ``I liked everything about our game except for our penalty-killing, and obviously both our goaltenders would probably like to have a couple of those back.'
NOTES: Canucks forward Mason Raymond missed a planned return to the lineup following a serious back injury in last season's Stanley Cup finals because of what a team official termed ``paperwork with the league.' ... Vancouver D Sami Salo was out after sustaining a groin injury on Tuesday. Aaron Rome, back after missing four games with a hand injury, replaced him. ... Luongo got the start when these clubs met in Vancouver on Oct. 20 and made 25 saves in the Canucks' 5-1 win. ... The Predators finished a five-game road trip.
The Associated Press News Service
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