WSF Game 3: Canucks 3 Predators 2

As Henrik Sedin continues to look like he’s playing hurt, Ryan Kesler finally shook off a long playoff scoring slump. With 2 goals – including the OT game-winner – he finally hit the scoresheet and led the Canucks to a 3-2 overtime win and a 2-1 series lead.

The game shouldn’t even have gone to overtime. Like in game 2, the Canucks nursed a 1-goal lead in the third period and allowed the Predators to tie it up late in the game. And like in the first 2 games of this series, Pekka Rinne once again held his team in the game and gave them a chance to win.

But back to Henrik for a second. Is he hurt? He sure looks like it. It’s not an excuse but it’s obvious he’s trying to play through some sort of injury. The good news is, he’s been able to make plays and he was decent in the faceoff circle. And with Burrows and Kesler’s line with Higgins and Raymond taking on the scoring load – not to mention the Canucks now lead the series and and have taken back home ice advantage in the series – perhaps criticism of his and brother Daniel’s play has been relatively muted. I imagine they’d be a lot louder if the series score was the other way around.

The Hero

Ryan Kesler. Kesler had 3 points (2 goals – 1 assist) in 25:26 minutes of ice-time (tops among all forwards).

The Goat

Jerred Smithson. Two undisciplined penalties – one was for a retaliatory shot on Burrows and the other was for a dumb, unprovoked shot on Luongo; the Canucks scored on the latter, which tied the game early in the second period. He also charged at Bieksa and hit him dangerously from behind in OT, which, while the penalty wasn’t called, perhaps drew the make-up call on Shea Weber moments afterwards; Kesler scored the game-winner on the ensuing powerplay.

The Numbers

  • 7. Cody Hodgson had 7 shifts and 5:13 minutes of ice-time in the game. He played 1 shift in the third period and none in overtime.
  • 7. With his goal tonight, Joel Ward, Nashville’s feel-good story of these playoffs, has 7 points to lead all Predators in playoff scoring.
  • 7. Daniel Sedin had 7 shots on goal. He hasn’t scored in 4 games. You gotta think he’s bound to bump his slump, right?

The Next Time

So far, the first 3 games of the series has played out almost similarly. The Canucks would outplay the Predators for large stretches of the game and Pekka Rinne would keep the game within reach. Hard to expect anything else for game 4 on Thursday night.

J.J. Guerrero

Founder and Executive Editor of Canucks Hockey Blog. Proud Canadian, hardcore Canucks fan. I would like nothing more than watching the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. Against the Leafs.

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