VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Filip Forsberg scored a goal and had an assist, and the Nashville Predators beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Tuesday night to level their best-of-seven playoff series at 1-1.

Anthony Beauvillier - a former Canuck - also had a goal and an assist for the Predators, Colton Sissons and Kiefer Sherwood had goals, and Juuse Saros made 17 saves.

Nikita Zadorov scored for a Vancouver team that struggled to get shots on net and experienced a series of unlucky bounces.

Nashville coach Andrew Brunette liked the way his Predators put their bodies on the line, blocking 31 shots.

“I think that’s maybe something we learned from Game 1 a little bit,” Brunette said. “Maybe we weren’t as committed to the pain and tonight (we were), with the blocked shots and the things that we did sacrificing our body. So we learned and we’re still growing. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re getting better and today was a good step.”

Zadorov said the Canucks may be able to take something from the way their opponents played.

“They’re super desperate, they’re laying out for every puck, they’re trying to block with their faces. So that’s what maybe we can learn from them in that particular thing,” he said. “It’s hard to win. I mean, it’s playoff hockey. It’s a long series. There’s no panic in the room.”

The Canucks were playing without All-Star goalie Thatcher Demko, who was ruled out with an undisclosed injury. He is “week-to-week,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said after the game.

Casey DeSmith took over in net and stopped 12 of 15 shots, but he got off to a poor start.

Forsberg sent a long shot flying from inside the blue line and Beauvillier, stationed above the hash marks, deflected it in past an out-of-position DeSmith to put the Predators up 1-0 just 1:14 into the game.

Beauvillier started the season in Vancouver before the Canucks dealt him to the Blackhawks to shed salary in November. Chicago then sent the left-winger to Nashville in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick ahead of the NHL trade deadline in March.

“I was fortunate enough to be in on three great organizations this year, starting here and then bounced to Chicago,” Beauvillier said. “And that’s what you live for, that’s why you play hockey. You want to compete for the Stanley Cup and play meaningful hockey.”

The Canucks had three power plays in the first period but struggled to get shots on net.

Elias Pettersson came close to tying the score on a man advantage late in the opening period.

Saros slid over to stop Quinn Hughes as he powered toward the net, but the defenseman passed to Pettersson and the center fired at the empty net, only to have the puck glance off the post.

Both teams went 0 for 4 on the power play.

“We had some chances, some looks on the (power play), some empty nets we didn’t capitalize on,” Tocchet said. “Maybe we got a little frustrated. But we threw a lot of rubber around that area. We’ve got to keep doing that. I think the game plan is there, we’ve just got to start executing.”

The Predators took a two-goal lead midway through the second when Forsberg collected a pass from Gustav Nyquist, stickhandled his way toward the net and fired a shot past DeSmith at the 7:29 mark.

Ninety-five seconds later, the visitors took a three-goal lead when Sissons batted in the rebound of a shot by Beauvillier.

Zadorov cut the deficit to 3-1 with less than five minutes to go in the second. His shot from above the faceoff circle hit the stick of Nashville’s Mark Jankowski and the puck sailed in over Saros’ right shoulder.

Vancouver pulled DeSmith for an extra attacker with just over two minutes left but Sherwood beat Hughes to a loose puck along the boards and put a shot into the empty net 18:07 into the third period.


The series shifts to Nashville for Game 3 on Friday.


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