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Canucks advance with tight Game 6 win over Predators

John Russell / National Hockey League / Getty

The Vancouver Canucks secured their spot in the second round with a hard-fought 1-0 Game 6 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday night.

Vancouver will take on the Edmonton Oilers in an all-Canadian series. The last time the Pacific Division rivals met in the playoffs was in 1992, with Edmonton winning in six games.

Friday's clash remained scoreless until Pius Suter broke the ice with less than two minutes left in regulation.

"I love the fire," veteran forward J.T. Miller told Sportsnet when asked about Suter's heroics. "That's gonna happen, that guy's had a bunch of chances this year, he knows he could have had 10 goals. He stuck with it, which is awesome. Huge goal for our team."

Canucks netminder Arturs Silovs became the first rookie in franchise history to record a series-clinching win, per Sportsnet Stats. He turned aside all 28 shots he faced to secure the shutout while saving 3.21 goals above expected at all strengths, per Natural Stat Trick.

"Can't say enough," Vancouver captain Quinn Hughes said of Silovs' performance. "It takes a lot of confidence, a lot of belief in yourself. He played great, obviously to end Game 6 with a shutout ... he came up big."

"It's really impressive, to say the least," he added.

Silovs got a little help in the form of a huge block by defenseman Tyler Myers with the Canucks on the penalty kill in the final minute.

Vancouver turned to Silovs in Game 4 when both Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith were sidelined with injuries. The Canucks stuck with Silovs for Games 5 and 6 even after DeSmith was available.

"It's a great opportunity for me," Silovs said after Friday's series decider. "They trust me more. I want to capitalize on these chances."

The 23-year-old rewarded his team's faith by posting a .938 save percentage, 1.70 goals-against average, and 2-1 record. He only appeared in four regular-season games this campaign and five last year.

Though the Canucks took care of business on the road, fans made sure to show their appreciation for Silovs back home.

Predators goalie Juuse Saros stood tall during Friday's loss, making 28 saves on 29 shots. Nashville has now lost six straight playoff games on home ice and hasn't won a postseason series since 2018.

Captain Roman Josi saw a lot of positives from the Predators' season despite the loss.

"It's tough right now because you leave it all out there," he told Bally Sports. "I think we're gonna look back on this season and be really proud of what we accomplished.

"We didn't get a lot of credit coming into camp. Just the connection we had as a team, how we came together, how we battled through some hard times early in the season, and found a way in the playoffs. ... It wasn't meant to be."

The Canucks last won a round during the COVID-19 playoff bubble in 2020. The last time Vancouver's Rogers Arena saw the second round was in 2011, when the team made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Two Canadian teams have met in the second round or later just four other times in the last 30 years.

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