April 29, 2011
Higgins scored his second of the playoffs at 12:14 of the second period, and it ended up being the lone goal in the 1-0 Game 1 victory by the Canucks over the Nashville Predators. Kevin Bieksa(notes) slipped a pass to Max Lapierre, creating a 3-on-1 down low. Higgins then buried Lapierre's pass for the goal that was confirmed by video review.
In his best effort since Game 1 of the Preds' series vs. the Anaheim Ducks, Rinne kept his team in the game with a 29-save performance that included 16 stops in the first period alone.
Luongo wasn't tested all that much in the first 40 minutes, facing only 11 shots. But he was there when Vancouver needed him, and especially in the third period when he stopped Mike Fisher(notes) on a shorthanded breakaway. He had 20 saves in the game for his second shutout of the playoffs — his first also coming in Game 1 vs. Chicago.
Honorable mention: Ryan Kesler(notes) was 19-11 on faceoffs as Vancouver dominated in the circle to the tune of 61 percent to 39 percent. … Shea Weber(notes) played 28:29, had four hits, three shots on goal and two blocked shots.
Dishonorable mention: Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play. Nashville has yet to score a power-play goal against the Canucks this season. … Patric Hornqvist(notes) had three minor penalties for Nashville. … Finally, Keith Ballard(notes) was called for clipping on what was a textbook beauty of a hip check. For shame!
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Danny Briere(notes), Philadelphia Flyers, 2. Pavel Datsyuk(notes), Detroit Red Wings; 3. Ryane Clowe(notes), San Jose Sharks; 4. Michal Neuvirth(notes), Washington Capitals; 5. Daniel Sedin(notes), Vancouver Canucks; 6. Martin St. Louis(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning; 7. Mike Fisher, Nashville Predators; 8. Nathan Horton(notes), Boston Bruins; 9. Dwayne Roloson(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning; 10. Claude Giroux(notes), Philadelphia Flyers.