NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Leading by two late in the third period, the Nashville Predators nearly let this one get away.
Colton Sissons made sure that didn’t happen.
After the Predators allowed a pair of goals in the final 4:05 of regulation, Sissons scored 3:05 into overtime to give them a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
“It was a little bit scary at the end there,” Sissons said. “I thought we played a great game. I’m not sure the score was indicative of the play. I really liked our effort tonight, really all 60 minutes, so it’s stuff we can build off of.”
Ryan Hartman, Nick Bonino and Calle Jarnkrok also scored and Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for the Predators, winners of two straight.
Jay Beagle, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat had the goals for the Canucks, who had won three in a row.
Vancouver tied it with 43.5 seconds remaining in the third when Horvat, parked at the far post, slipped one past Rinne. The Canucks were short-handed at the time and had pulled goalie Anders Nilsson for an extra skater.
“We played a team tonight that was ready to go and you can see why they’re one of the favorites to challenge for the Stanley Cup,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “Nice for our guys to fight right to the end and find a way to get a point.”
In overtime, Bonino sent a pass from the left boards to Sissons skating through the slot and he elevated a shot over Nilsson.
Hartman scored the game’s first goal at 5:52 of the opening period.
With the Canucks changing lines, Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis sent a long pass from inside the Nashville zone to Hartman at the red line. Skating in on the right side, Hartman used Vancouver defenseman Ben Hutton as a screen and beat Nilsson on the glove side with a wrist shot from above the right circle.
Nashville is still without injured first-line forwards Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. In their absence, Hartman has been given top-line minutes with Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala.
“The speed in which he is playing, the offense in which he’s showing, he’s playing the game on the edge, but he’s staying disciplined,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “So he’s doing a lot of good things with Johansen and Fiala.”
Bonino made it 2-0 at 8:40 of the first with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Nilsson high to the far side.
Beagle halved the Nashville lead at 15:15 of the first.
With the Predators on a power play, Markus Granlund intercepted a pass from defenseman Mattias Ekholm in the neutral zone. Granlund carried the puck into the Nashville zone on the left side. Inside the circle, he sent a pass to Beagle in the slot, where he made a quick forehand-to-backhand move and beat Rinne on the stick side.
Nashville regained its two-goal lead at 11:05 of the second when Jarnkrok tipped Kyle Turris’ shot past Nilsson, who finished with 30 saves.
“We showed huge character to get back being down two goals in Nashville going into the third,” Nilsson said. “It’s nice to get a point, but it’s also frustrating not to get two points.”
Turris returned to Nashville’s lineup after missing eight games with an injury.
“My legs felt good,” he said. “My timing was off, but that is something that will come. I’m just excited to be back.”
Boeser made it 3-2 at 15:55 of the third with a power-play goal.
Rookie sensation Elias Pettersson got the secondary assist on Boeser’s goal, extending his point streak to five games (three goals, eight assists).
NOTES: Beagle’s goal was his first with the Canucks. … Nashville is 16-1-0 when scoring first this season. … Middle Tennessee natives David Price and Mookie Betts of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox attended the game. Betts is from Nashville and Price is from Murfreesboro and attended Vanderbilt in Nashville. … Hartman has six goals in eight career games against Vancouver.
Canucks: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Predators: Host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
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