Pettersson scores second career hat trick as Canucks beat Predators 5-2

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks banished the ghost of a tough loss last week for a Halloween night victory.

Elias Pettersson bagged a hat trick as the Vancouver Canucks bounced back from the dead to beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Tuesday at Rogers Arena.

“We let them into the game,” Pettersson said after the Canucks’ sixth win in nine games. “They’re a good team too, but we weren’t playing the way we were used to. 

“The second period was a little scrambly, the first as well. The third, I think, was our best one. We’re happy and looking at the things we can do better moving forward.”

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet agreed with his forward’s assessment.

“We’re happy to win. Obviously, that’s not our brand of hockey. I thought we were pretty loose,” he said.

The Canucks (6-2-1) took a 3-2 lead off a Pettersson wrist shot at 16:38 of the second period for his second of the game and never looked back.

Pettersson added an insurance goal with under three minutes remaining in the final frame to make it 5-2 for the second hat trick of his NHL career and first at Rogers Arena.

He’s the first Canuck since Markus Naslund to score a hat trick against the Predators.

Forward J.T. Miller was benched at the end of the second period after taking his third penalty of the game, but returned at the start of the third to bang in a goal off a long, bobbled shot from Brock Boeser.

“I felt at the time he needed to sit for four minutes. It could have been anybody,” said Tocchet. “He responds with a goal and I think he’s fine.”

Nashville (4-5-0) had tied and then taken the lead in the first period on goals from Colton Sissons and Dante Fabbro.

“I think we just had too many turnovers, starts with me,” said Canucks captain Quinn Hughes about the goals.

Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko stopped 24 of 26 shots in the win while Predators’ goalie Kevin Lankinen stopped 22 of 26 in the loss.

Pettersson had tied the game at the start of the second period for Vancouver, after Hughes slid the puck across, allowing the Swedish forward to cut in and fire a wrist shot past Lankinen.

“We kind of boxed them into our goalie a couple of times, and don’t want to do that too often,” said Predators coach Andrew Brunette about the goals his team gave up.

Vancouver had a stop and start opening period, with misplaced passes and a Nashville team committed to clogging the neutral zone limiting attacks.

“It was just mistakes of our own,” said Hughes. “Getting a little too loose, making plays when we maybe should’ve been keeping it simple.”

Canucks forward Sam Lafferty opened the scoring after a shot from the point by Hughes found its way through a crowd and bounced off the fourth-line forward at 13:45 of the first.

But the Predators responded nearly immediately after Hughes gave the puck away and Demko went for a poke check only for Nashville forward Liam Foudy to dance around him, allowing Sissons to score his fifth goal of the season.

Nashville then grabbed the lead three minutes later after a long shot from Fabbro found its way past a crush of bodies and Demko.

Fabbro said there are positives to take away from the loss.

“You’re not going to win every night, but if you can keep putting out a consistent product and everyone’s kind of pulling the same rope, that’s going to be what drives our ship,” he said. 

The Predators had the best opportunity to open the scoring in the first period after the Canucks were called for a slash on Foudy at the start of a three-on-one leading to a penalty shot.

But Foudy slipped during the attempt and his shot when he got back to his feet was fired wide of Demko’s net.


There was a moment of silence at Rogers Arena for Adam Johnson, who died in a tragic on-ice mishap in the United Kingdom over the weekend after taking a skate to the neck. … Ryan O’Reilly’s game against the Canucks was his 1,000th in the NHL, joining Toronto’s John Tavares as the second player from the 2009 draft to do so. … Hughes’ assist on the Canucks opener equalled the 12th-fewest games by a defenceman in NHL history to reach the 250-point mark. He’s the second active defenceman to do so, along with Cale Makar.


The Canucks travel to San Jose to play the Sharks on Thursday.

Nashville heads to Seattle to play the Kraken on Thursday in the second stop of their five-game road trip.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023.

Nick Wells, The Canadian Press