Jarnkrok scores OT winner as Predators rally to beat Canucks

Calle Jarnkrok scored the winning goal in overtime and the Nashville Predators rallied to defeat the Vancouver Canucks.

VANCOUVER — The Canucks couldn’t quite spoil Mike Fisher’s coming-out-of-retirement party.

Fisher scored in his first game back with Nashville, as the Central Division-leading Predators defeated Vancouver 4-3 in overtime on Friday night.

The 37-year-old Peterborough, Ont., native called it quits just over six months ago, but was back practising with the team earlier in February. He signed a one-year deal to play his eighth season in Music City.

"They say sometimes rest is a weapon. We’ll see," said Fisher. "I was trying to keep the shifts as short as possible, but it was easy fitting in with my linemates, the team, the way they have been playing and working. It was fun."

If rest is a weapon, the Predators seemed intent to use it Friday. The team opted to give the night off to four regular players, including Roman Josi, Craig Smith, Scott Hartnell and Yannick Weber. The victory in their absence proves how much depth there is in Nashville’s lineup.

"We had a couple guys gone today, but we still managed to win the game and we played a great hockey game," said Calle Jarnkrok, who scored the winner in OT.

Kevin Fiala and Ryan Ellis also scored for the Predators (41-14-9), who won its seventh straight and matched its longest winning streak since Nov. 12-25, 2009.

"They’re deep throughout their lineup," said forward Brandon Sutter, who scored one of Vancouver’s goals. "They have four lines that can score. Their D is probably the strongest D corp in the league. But we stuck with them all night. It was a pretty solid effort for us."

Bo Horvat and Daniel Sedin also scored for Vancouver (24-32-9), which is 3-8-3 in its past 14 games and remain in second last place in the Pacific Division. Jacob Markstrom was impressive with 39 saves for the Canucks.

The game proved to be a milestone occasion for Canucks defenceman Alex Edler. The 31-year-old Swede, who has played in Vancouver his entire career, notched two assists to surpass Mattias Ohlund for first all-time in points by a Canucks defenceman with 326.

"It means a lot to be up there with (Mattias)," said Edler. "He was a mentor for me. It was great for me to have him here my first year. How he played on the ice and how he acted off the ice too. I’m very grateful for that."

Vancouver scored first while on the power play, off a faceoff in the Predators zone. Edler ripped a shot from the blue line that Horvat tipped in at 5:55.

The Canucks made it 2-0 with five minutes remaining in the second as Sutter carried the puck from the side boards, into traffic and ripped a backhand in.

The Preds got on the board when Fisher swatted in a rolling puck that rebounded off a Filip Forsberg shot. Nashville tied it midway in the third period during a 4-on-4. Fiala blasted a hard wrist shot from near the face-off circle that went high.

Vancouver jumped ahead 3-2 during a power play midway in the third after Nashville’s Ryan Johansen took a major and game misconduct for spearing Erik Gudbranson. Sedin took a pass from Henrik Sedin and lifted his own rebound for eighth goal in eight games.

The Preds tied it again with just over two minutes left. Ellis’s blast from the blue line cleared enough traffic to squeak by Markstrom and force overtime.

Backup goalie Juuse Saros made 24 stops for the Preds.

Notes: The Canucks shut down winger Loui Eriksson (rib injury) on Thursday for the remainder of the season. … Canucks forward Sven Baertschi left the game early in the second after taking a hard check from Alexei Emelin. He went to the locker room clutching his shoulder and did not return.

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