Paul Gaustad

Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators

Bieksa admits chirping Gaustad was wrong, but felt Preds were embellishing

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Kevin Bieksa isn’t afraid of making accusations of embellishment. A couple of years ago, he called out the San Jose Sharks for a “lack of integrity.” Back in 2011, he called out his own Vancouver Canucks teammates for “crossing that line of integrity.”

The other night in Nashville, he had questions about the Predators.

Though Bieksa now admits it was wrong for him to taunt a prone Paul Gaustad after the Nashville forward was interfered with by Alex Burrows late in Tuesday’s game, the veteran defenseman apparently felt the Preds were, for lack of a better phrase, making the most of their injuries:

Not to excuse his actions in any way, but it’s not altogether surprising Bieksa was feeling frustrated. In the opening minutes of the game, he was given a minor penalty for hitting Viktor Stalberg in the head. As the Associated Press reported, the hit left “Stalberg on the ice for a couple of minutes before he skated to the bench.” The Preds then scored on the power play.

So you can imagine what Bieksa was thinking during the second period when Stalberg, not seriously injured after all, scored to give the Preds the lead.

Then, when Gaustad went down…

As it turned out, Gaustad was indeed hurt. In fact, he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Neither Burrows nor Bieksa received supplementary discipline for their actions Tuesday.

Report: No suspension for Burrows after Gaustad hit

Alex Burrows
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Vancouver’s Alex Burrows won’t face any supplemental discipline for his hit on Nashville’s Paul Gaustad on Tuesday night, per TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

Burrows, who has been suspended once already this season, was given an interference major and game misconduct for this late in the third period of the Canucks’ 5-4 shootout victory:

After the game, Burrows said he was surprised at getting booted from the contest, adding he had no intention to hurt Gaustad but was concerned about possible suspension.

“You’re always worried,” Burrows told the Vancouver Sun. “But it’s not for me to judge or forecast what’s going to happen. I’ll let the people who are in charge make the call and we’ll go from there.

“We did collide. My intentions weren’t to hurt him or anything. It’s tough to say; it’s a tough call. It’s not up to me really to judge if I thought it was a penalty (but) when they told me it was a five, I was pretty surprised and I was upset a little bit about it. But the boys battled and they found a way.”

Gaustad left the game following the hit and didn’t play another shift. The Preds had no update on his condition following the tilt, but center Mike Fisher voiced his displeasure with the play.

“The refs made the right call,” Fisher said. “That was a cheap shot. Hopefully Paul is going to be okay. That’s the main thing.”

Video: Burrows ‘surprised, upset’ he received a major penalty for hit on Gaustad

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Alex Burrows received a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for hitting unsuspecting Nashville Predators forward Paul Gaustad late in the third period of Tuesday’s game.

But the veteran Vancouver Canucks forward maintained that what occurred was just a collision between the two players, who were both skating up ice just inside the Vancouver zone. The Canucks managed to kill off the five-minute Predators power play before going on to a shootout victory.

“You’re always worried,” Burrows told the Vancouver Sun. “But it’s not for me to judge or forecast what’s going to happen. I’ll let the people who are in charge make the call and we’ll go from there.

“We did collide. My intentions weren’t to hurt him or anything. It’s tough to say; it’s a tough call. It’s not up to me really to judge if I thought it was a penalty (but) when they told me it was a five, I was pretty surprised and I was upset a little bit about it. But the boys battled and they found a way.”

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was also given a misconduct at the same time.

During the video, Bieksa can be seen skating by Gaustad, who was down on the ice, and saying something that caught the immediate attention of the referee.

Canucks outlast Predators for shootout win after Bieksa, Burrows get ejected

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There are eventful hockey games, and then you have what transpired between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

The Canucks earned two points, crucial to their chances of getting into the playoffs, thanks to a 5-4 shootout win on the road against the Predators, giving Vancouver two victories in as many days to start this four-game trip through the Central Division.

With five games remaining on their schedule, the Canucks move to 95 points, which is four ahead of Calgary and seven ahead of L.A.

The victory — shootout goals from Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata, and two stops from Eddie Lack secured it — only came after Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa were tossed at the same time late in the third period.

Burrows was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct with 3:54 remaining in the third period, as he cut across and caught a vulnerable Paul Gaustad, who was without the puck, with a hit in the neutral zone. At first, it looked like it was just incidental contact between the two players. But a replay showed otherwise. Bieksa, called for an illegal hit to the head in the first period, was tossed for a misconduct.

The Canucks successfully killed off Nashville’s five-minute power play, which included a four-on-three opportunity in overtime, to get the game into the shootout.

It was a wild third period. The Canucks trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes.

But Burrows on a short-handed goal and Chris Higgins on the power play gave the Canucks a 4-3 lead.

It didn’t last, as Nashville got even on a fluke power play goal with just over five minutes remaining. Bonino’s clearing attempt in front of the Vancouver net hit off the foot of Mike Fisher and through the legs of Lack.

The Canucks continue their trip Thursday, when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Slumping Preds lose Nystrom (lower body) for one month

Detroit Red Wings v Nashville Predators
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Losers of five straight, the Nashville Predators got more bad news on Friday as Eric Nystrom was ruled out for four weeks with a lower-body ailment.

Nystrom, 32, was hurt during Tuesday’s loss to New Jersey and held out of last night’s defeat to the Isles. A checking forward that played largely in a fourth-line role, Nystrom had seven goals and 12 points in 60 games this year, averaging over 13 minutes per game.

With Nystrom out, the Preds look as though they’ll roll with a fourth line of Paul Gaustad, Taylor Beck and Gabriel Bourque. It’s possible the team could fill Nystrom’s roster spot by recalling someone from AHL Milwaukee, possibly Viktor Stalberg.