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Predators 2, Canucks 1

Heroes emerge in time

Halischuk lifts Nashville in 2 OTs

Associated Press / May 1, 2011

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VANCOUVER — Ryan Suter tied the game with 67 seconds left and Matt Halischuk won it 14:51 into double overtime as the Nashville Predators beat the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1, last night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series, 1-1.

After Nashville’s Pekka Rinne made several acrobatic game-saving stops in extra time, Halischuk took a cross-ice pass from Nick Spaling and fired a quick shot over a diving defender and past the glove of goalie Roberto Luongo.

Alex Burrows scored a shorthanded goal two minutes into the second period and it appeared Luongo would make it stand up for his second straight shutout in the series.

But Suter tied it on Nashville’s 36th shot, a harmless looking centering pass from below the goal line that went between Luongo’s legs and bounced in off his left skate.

Luongo finished with 44 saves.

Game 3 is Tuesday at Nashville.

Rinne made the best of his 32 saves in overtime, including robbing Henrik Sedin alone atop the crease on a rebound, and a headfirst diving stick stop to take an empty net from Kevin Bieksa with 2:14 left in the first overtime. He stretched out to turn away Maxim Lapierre with his glove a minute later.

Nashville carried the play, outshooting Vancouver, 36-15, in regulation, and forcing Luongo to make several good saves, including a stacked-pads stop on Jordin Tootoo’s breakaway with 8:46 left.

The best of the rest of his saves came against the Predators’ power play. So did the Canucks’ chances, and Burrows converted one early in the second period.

But Luongo looked bad on Suter’s shot from well below the goal line, ending his shutout streak at 126 minutes, 11 seconds — his best stretch in the playoffs.

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