May 012011
 

Pekka Rinne is fast becoming the story of this series. After stopping 29 of 30 shots in game 1, Rinne stopped 32 of 33 shots in game 2 to help beat the Canucks 2-1 in double OT. He’s now held what was the best offensive team in the NHL to a measly 2 goals combined in the first 2 games of this series.

Give the Preds credit. They found whatever jump was missing from their game on Thursday and controlled stretches of this game. By the end of it, they had thrown 46 shots on Roberto Luongo.

But for now until game 3, the story will most certainly be the team’s lack of finish. Certainly the Canucks are getting their fair share of chances but just aren’t burying them. They’ve scored a total of 7 goals in the last 5 games (1.40 goals/game) and have been shutout on the powerplay in that same span (0-for-14). And of those 7 goals, Burrows scored 4 of them. (Bieksa, Raymond and Higgins have the others.)

After the game, coach Alain Vigneault noted there wasn’t a lot of room on the ice. Well, duh.

But the Canucks do need to find some room. Or with the way RInne is playing, they need to take away some of his.

The Hero

Pekka Rinne. The 6’5″ Finnish goaltender stole this game for the Preds – he nearly stole game 1 as well for that matter – and now sports a 0.968 save percentage for the series.

The Goat

Henrik Sedin. Last year’s Art Ross winner is point-less in 3 games and only has 1 assist in his last 6 games. He also went an abysmal 12-for-31 in the faceoff circle (38.7%), including a brutal 7-for-20 in the offensive zone (35.0%).

The Numbers

  • 1. The number of powerplay opportunities the Canucks had in almost 5 full periods of hockey. In 9 playoff games this season, the Canucks have yet to have more powerplay opportunities than their opponents.
  • 7:04. Victor Oreskovich was the Canucks’ low-minute man, more than 5 minutes less than Blake Geoffrion, who logged the least TOI (12:11) on the Preds; Oreo didn’t play a shift after the 12-minute mark of the third period.
  • 4. If we’re looking for positives, the Canucks killed all 4 of the Preds’ powerplay chances, including one in OT and another in 2OT. The Canucks have now killed 17 consecutive penalties, dating back to game 5 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Next Time

If the Canucks are exhausted after their emotional series against Chicago and then almost immediately beginning their series against Nashville, they’ll get a bit of a break. Game 3 isn’t scheduled until Tuesday.

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