VANCOUVER — Pekka Rinne stopped all 29 shots he faced and Blake Geoffrion scored the winner in the third period Thursday as the Nashville Predators blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0.

Patric Hornqvist and David Legwand, with an empty-netter in the final minute, had the other goals for the Predators, who posted their second win in three meetings with the Canucks.

Nashville (33-23-9) won for only the second time in seven games while the Canucks (40-16-9) suffered their third loss in five contests. Despite the setback, Vancouver still sits in first place in the Western Conference and overall NHL standings.

Rinne picked up his fifth shutout of the season as both clubs recorded 29 shots while going 0-for-2 on the power play.

Geoffrion broke the scoreless tie at 1:59 of the third, burying Jordan Tootoo’s pass from behind the net over Roberto Luongo’s shoulder.

Hornqvist scored at 17:39 as he stripped Vancouver defenceman Dan Hamhuis of the puck in front of his net and beat a sprawling Luongo, who was deprived of his 300th career win and 30th win of the season.

Vancouver has now gone four straight periods without scoring and have alternated wins and losses in the last 12 games.

The Canucks were missing five players while the Predators were without six regulars.

Both goaltenders were busy in the first minute of a mostly uneventful opening period. Rinne foiled Henrik Sedin from the slot and Luongo blocked a dangerous Nick Spaling chance but the teams managed just four shots in the first ten minutes.

The Predators continued to thwart the Canucks offence in the second, but the action heated up in the final five minutes of the period.

During the same end-to-end sequence, Luongo came out of his net on his knees to foil David Legwand and Vancouver’s Mason Raymond backhanded the puck off the corner of the post and the crossbar. Seconds later, Tootoo also hit iron, keeping the game scoreless after 40 minutes.

Referee Justin St. Pierre as he left the game in the second period with a sprained ankle. Dave Jackson served as the lone ref for the rest of the game.

NOTES: The sellout crowd jeered former Canuck Shane O’Brien as he was penalized for high-sticking Jeff Tambellini in the first five minutes, but Vancouver did not muster much of an attack during the power play. ... Nashville’s J.P. Dumont was the game’s lone healthy scratch. ... Newly-acquired winger Chris Higgins, out with a broken thumb, and defenceman Kevin Bieksa, out since Feb. 17 with a broken foot, are expected to join the Canucks during their upcoming five-game road trip. ... Rookie Nashville defenceman Jon Blum, a former star with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, played his first game against the Canucks after making his NHL debut Feb. 22. ... Vancouver centre Manny Malhotra is one goal away from 100 for his career.