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.