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Sullivan's goal extends Predators' unbeaten streak to eight

Nov 1, 2006 - 5:50 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators are evolving into a force this season.

Steve Sullivan scored the game-winning goal with just under six minutes left in the third period as the Predators downed the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games

The victory was also Nashville's fifth straight road triumph.

Sullivan skated in on a breakaway but was stopped by Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo. Sullivan alertly scooped up the rebound and backhanded the puck past Luongo for a 3-2 lead at 14:19 of the final period.

"Luongo made a good save on me," said Sullivan, who has four goals this season. "I was trying to go five-hole and he made the save, but the puck was just laying there and I was able to just take a second whack at it and it fluttered in. I just tried to get my stick on it and prayed, and I just watched it go and it seemed to hit the mesh."

"I made the save and then, with the stick, he pushed me into the net," said Luongo, who finished with 21 saves. "I don't know if it was intentional or not. I tried to get a blocker on it. Obviously, it was tough after he pushed me into the net after the initial save."

Vancouver had tied the game, 2-2, at 8:12 of the third period when Markus Naslund circled toward the slot and fired the puck through the pads of Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who had Vancouver center Jan Bulis draped all over him. The goal was reviewed and allowed to stand.

"The referee told me our guy pushed (Bulis) into me," Vokoun said. "But when the puck is coming, you're focusing on the puck and when he hits you, you kind of protect yourself and keep your balance. Exactly at the moment the shot came, the guy made contact with me and knocked me over, and I lost the puck in that moment."

Trailing, 2-0, Vancouver halved the deficit on defenseman Mattias Ohlund's power-play goal with 2:21 left in the second period. Ohlund's shot from the point went through a crowd of players and squeezed past Vokoun.

"That was a soft goal, it just went right through my six-hole," said Vokoun, who recorded 22 stops. "I saw the shot all the way. I guess I wasn't sharp enough. My arm wasn't all the way to my body. It was just a soft goal."

The Predators jumped to a quick 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Alexander Radulov and defenseman Ryan Suter just under three minutes apart.

Radulov gave Nashville a 1-0 lead at 5:33 when he tipped defenseman Dan Hamhuis' shot past Luongo.

Suter's power-play goal made it 2-0 at 8:11 when he skated in, took Sullivan's pass from behind the net and beat Luongo.

"I hate getting down early like that all the time," Luongo said. "It's a bit challenging mentally when you give up two goals early, but you've got to fight through those things and keep battling."






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