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Tuesday May 10, 2011 3:21 pm

Vancouver Canucks defeat Nashville Predators, finally get a rest




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Playoffs,

Ryan KeslerWith a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Monday night, the Vancouver Canucks clinched their second-round series and now await the winner of the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks. Ryan Kesler continued to dominate, putting two more assists on the score sheet and furthering his cause to become the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Also, the Sedin brothers made a rare postseason appearance and Roberto Luongo put together one of his best games ever in securing the win for the visiting Canucks.

The story in Game 6 was the power play. Daniel Sedin scored what would be the game-winner at 9:28 in the first period with a man advantage. Meanwhile, Nashville couldn’t take advantage of any of four power plays in the first period. In the second, Luongo stood tall as his team was outshot 7-2 and perhaps for the first time in these playoffs, showed that he is one of the world’s best goalies. At no point in the third period did Luongo seem out of control, and that’s a quality that’s eluded him greatly to this point.

Now you have to wonder who the Canucks would rather face in round three. After traveling back and forth from Vancouver to both Chicago and then Nashville, the Canucks may hope to draw the Sharks. San Jose is less than half as far away as Detroit, and they’ll travel within the same time zone. However, despite their last two games, San Jose is one of the toughest teams in the NHL and after struggling with the Hawks and Preds, the Sharks may be too overpowering against the Canucks.

The win means many things for the Canucks. First, they don’t have to play back-to-back seven game series to start the playoffs. They’ve played a high-pressure game every other night for the last month, and have rarely found themselves comfortably ahead. Secondly, they get a break. With the Detroit-San Jose series continuing on Tuesday night with a possible game seven on Thursday, Vancouver can heal up a bit. Third, they advance to their first Western Conference Final in 17 years. It’s been a long time coming, and after two hard-fought series, it’s also well-deserved.

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