- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Predators coach Barry Trotz says the Vancouver Canucks are playing games to draw penalties that just aren’t fouls, so he’s going on the offensive.

By defending the officials.

Trotz says such gamesmanship puts referees in a tough spot. Trotz said Wednesday he watched several replays of Nashville captain Shea Weber’s clash with Ryan Kesler and believes Kesler embellished the hit to draw a hooking penalty. Trotz says he didn’t see Jerred Smithson’s stick touch Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo on a high-sticking call.

Both penalties up power-play goals by Kesler, including the game-winner in overtime Tuesday night.

The Canucks say both calls were legitimate penalties. They lead the Western conference semifinal series 2-1 with Game 4 on Thursday night.

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