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Vokoun leaves with wrist injury as Predators blank Canucks

Nov 24, 2006 - 3:47 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators clearly have adjusted to life without Jason Arnott. They may have to press on without goaltender Tomas Vokoun as well.

Scott Hartnell tallied twice and Vokoun stopped 21 shots before leaving with a sprained left wrist as the Predators routed the Vancouver Canucks, 6-0.

It was the 14th victory in the last 18 games for Nashville, which announced Tuesday that Arnott will be sidelined three to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

The Predators were sloppy offensively in their first game without Arnott, a 1-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. But the Predators looked like a different team only one day later, scoring twice in the first five minutes and never looking back.

"We got pucks and traffic to the net, which we didn't do last night," said Hartnell, who recorded his second multi-goal game this season. "Being shut out last night, we wanted to get some extra pucks to the net tonight."

The Predators improved to 4-0-1 when playing for the second time in as many days this season, a record that impressed Nashville coach Barry Trotz.

"We've been really fortunate that when we have had to go back-to-back, we have been able to come out with really solid efforts," he said. "Our team play has been very good in the second half of back-to-backs."

However, Nashville received some bad news concerning Vokoun, who injured his left wrist during the second period and did not return to the ice for the final session. Chris Mason filled in and turned aside 13 shots to complete Nashville's third shutout this season.

"(Vokoun) got hit in the (left) hand, and he was having trouble holding his stick, so we pulled him out," Trotz said. "They took some X-rays, and we will have the doctor look at them and re-evaluate him tomorrow."

Prior to suffering the injury, Vokoun was brilliant on a night when he enjoyed a huge margin for error. The Predators used a relentless attack to pester Canucks backup goalie Dany Sabourin, who stopped just 19-of-24 shots before being replaced in the second period by No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo.

"When a goalie hasn't played in a while, you try to get shots and traffic on him early, and we did a good job of that," said Nashville left wing Paul Kariya, who had three assists. "We had a lot of opportunities, and the puck went into the net."

"(Sabourin) is a big goalie, and you have to elevate pucks against big goalies like that," Hartnell added. "It wasn't his night, I guess."

Rookie Alexander Radulov gave Nashville the lead for good at 2:43 of the opening period with his third goal of the season, a pretty finish from the right faceoff circle off a crossing feed from Scott Nichol.

Darcy Hordichuk doubled the advantage just under two minutes later with his first goal of the season, and Hartnell netted his first tally of the contest midway through the second period.

"Our line definitely needed that," Hordichuk said. "We threw pucks to the net and we had a lot of success tonight. Guys like us on the fourth line need to be creative if we want to be successful."

Shea Webber had a goal and an assist while fellow defenseman Marek Zidlicky also tallied for the Predators, who went 2-for-8 on the power play and killed off all four of their penalties.

"We got contributions all over the lineup," Trotz said. "I was really pleased with our third period. Everyone stayed to task, and we finished the deal. We had some good energy, we had some jump."

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