Like he's done for most of the series, Kesler was right in the middle of a Canucks win. The gritty centerman assisted on both Vancouver goals as the Canucks shut the door on the Nashville Predators with a 2-1 series-clinching win. Vancouver scored 1:43 apart in the first period to grab a 2-0 lead with things starting off because of Kesler's work around the Nashville net:
No. 2 Star: Mason Raymond, Vancouver Canucks
Raymond scored the opening goal for the Canucks, his first of the playoffs, and along with Kesler led the team in power play time on-ice at 2:19.
No. 3 Star: Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Luongo bounced back after a tough opening round series against Chicago by stopping 153 of 194 shots faced for a .933 save-percentage in the six games. He made 23 saves tonight.
Honorable mention: The Canucks won 38 of 76 draws boosted by Kesler's 18-11 record in Game 6 ... Five of the six games were decided by one goal ... David Legwand's sixth goal of the playoffs and fourth in four games was the only goal for Nashville ... Referee Steve Kozari put himself in great position to determine that Legwand's shot had indeed crossed the goal line before having to go to video review to confirm ... Joel Ward assisted on Legwand's goal and finished with points in 10 of the Predators' 12 games ... Dan Hamhuis sacrificed the body against his old team on a last-second slapper from Shea Weber to help preserve the win:
Did you know? Vancouver last reached the Western Conference final in 1994 before falling to the New York Rangers in seven games during the Stanley Cup.
Dishonorable mention: Nashville's power play woes hindered them going 0-for-5 tonight and 1-for-21 in the series.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks; 3. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; 4. Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks; 5. Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins; 6. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; 7. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; 8. Sean Bergenheim, Tampa Bay Lightning; 9. Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning; 10. Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Vancouver Canucks
- Ryan Kesler
- Nashville Predators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- David Legwand