Ryan Kesler has gotten the best of the Nashville Predators once again.
Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena, Kesler scored the game-winner (7:37) and an insurance goal (14:15) in the third period to notch the 3-1 Vancouver Canucks victory. In thirty-two career games against Nashville, Kesler has thirteen points (eight goals, five assists). Now, he is on a point streak.
Vancouver's win couldn't have been accomplished without goaltender Roberto Luongo giving them a hand. After a deliberate embellishment, two minor penalties (goaltender interference and roughing) were called on Patric Hornqvist that would give the Canucks the power play needed to seal the win. Luongo made thirty saves in the victory.
Kesler's power play goal at 14:15 in the third snapped the Predators' notable penalty killing streak at twenty-five. The last power play goal Nashville gave up was November 15 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Also scoring for Vancouver was Brad Richardson, who opened up the scoring at 15:24 in the second period.
Colin Wilson did answer back, however, scoring his second goal in as many games. Surprisingly, Wilson didn't score at least one more with five shots on net and a surplus of chances.
For the second straight game with Shea Weber and Kevin Klein out of the lineup with injuries, Roman Josi and Seth Jones logged major ice time. Jones led the team with 29:40 of time on ice, while Josi totaled 29:11. They both were responsible for taming the Sedin twins and their linemate, whether it was Mike Santorelli or David Booth.
The only time the Sedins were on the ice when the Canucks scored was when Josi and Jones were not on, a coaching mistake by Barry Trotz.
Nashville, winless in their last three, take on the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night in a must-win affair to snap the streak.
– Roberto Luongo absolutely dove when Patric Hornqvist nudged Dan Hamhuis into him at 12:42 in the 3rd. As always, the referees fell for his antics, which led to sealing the victory for the Canucks.
Luongo: "I got bumped. Whether they are penalties or not, that's not my call."
— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) December 4, 2013
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) December 4, 2013
– All three of Vancouver's goals were garbage, the style head coach John Tortorella is quite fond of. That is a positive Nashville, especially Mazanec, has to take out of this loss. They were not dangled or sniped with two of their arguably best three defensemen on the team.
– Dan Hamhuis was not shy of getting rough with his former teammates. After Hornqvist nudged him into Luongo, Hamhuis was throwing punches to the winger's face with his gloves on. Hamhuis seems to no longer have an attachment to the Predators' organization.
– Constantly, the Predators shot the puck into Luongo's chest, or at his leg pads. Viewing this game assured to me that Nashville does not in fact have any skilled shooters, who can pick their corner at any moment. They made Luongo look Vezina worthy Tuesday night.
VAN: 0-1 – Brad Richardson – Weise and Hansen at 15:24 in the 2nd
NSH: 1-1 – Colin Wilson – Hornqvist and Josi at 15:54 in the 2nd
VAN: 1-2 – Ryan Kesler – Garrison and Santorelli at 7:37 in the 3rd
VAN: 1-3 – PP Ryan Kesler (2) – unassisted at 14:15 in the 3rd
NSH: Marek Mazanec (L) – 30 saves on 33 shots; played 57:28
VAN: Roberto Luongo (W) – 30 saves on 31 shots; played 60:00
My Three Stars
1. Ryan Kesler: 2 Goals
2. Colin Wilson: Goal
3. Roberto Luongo: 30 saves
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Weber, Klein and Clune
Predators starters: Nystrom, Gaustad, Hendricks, Ellis, Bartley and Mazanec
Canucks scratches: Welsh, Burrows and Alberts
Canucks starters: Higgens, Kesler, Hansen, Garrison, Edler and Luongo