Skip to content

Canucks cash in on shaky penalty call, beat Predators in OT for 2-1 series lead

May 4, 2011, 1:18 AM EDT

Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators - Game Three Getty Images

Not long ago, Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis aired his grievances regarding officiating before the team’s Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks. Now one must wonder if he’ll send the league’s officials a Christmas card.

If you want my honest opinion, Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber should not have been whistled for that overtime hooking penalty on Ryan Kesler. Yet the officials might have felt obliged to give the Canucks a “makeup call” after Jerred Smithson got away with a questionable hit shortly before that penalty. It didn’t take long for the Canucks to score on that man advantage as Kesler appeared to deflect the winning goal through Pekka Rinne.

Vancouver 3, Nashville 2 (OT); Canucks lead series 2-1

It’s fair to say that Vancouver was the better team in this game, even if they won the game in a very controversial way. Kesler was clever to lock Weber’s stick into his body for a few precious extra seconds, sending the team’s best defenseman into the box in overtime. Again, the Canucks didn’t take long to shine the spotlight on that goal by winning the game.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

As usual, the game was close on the scoreboard, although the Canucks were the aggressors for most of this contest after sitting back for much of Game 2. They out-shot the Predators 15-8 in the first period but Dave Legwand scored a shorthanded goal to give Nashville a 1-0 first period lead.

Kesler finally broke through to score his first goal of the playoffs in the middle frame by tapping in a one-timer in front of a mostly-open Predators net.

Chris Higgins made it 2-1 early in the third period, but the Predators wouldn’t go away, as Joel Ward scored thanks to the type of move from behind the net that made me think of my own cheesy offense in the video game NHL ’11.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

That Ward goal notched things up at 2-2, which forced yet another overtime game. (As James Gralian pointed out, the 2011 playoffs already feature more overtime games than all of last year’s games. Yes, that is indeed pretty amazing.)

It was a tight checking overtime period until those controversial moments ended the game. Here’s what David Legwand said about the call, via Mark Spector.

“I don’t know if Timmy Peel had a date or something, but he wanted to get outta here pretty quick.”

As great as the playoffs have been, inconsistent penalty calls have been one of this year’s biggest issues. Jeremy Roenick explained the problem quite well in the video found in this post.

The outlook for both teams

Once the “we stole that one” vibe dies down for the Canucks, they’ll probably feel relief more than anything else. The team needed to earn at least one win in Nashville to feel comfortable in this series, so now they can play with house money in Game 4. Vancouver is also one of the few teams who can be pleased with their power play, which converted on 2 of 4 opportunities.

They still must improve in some areas, though. While Daniel Sedin earned an assist, each Sedin twin had a -2 rating in the contest. Kesler had a breakthrough game, so the team would love it if the twins tried to top him.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Predators react to such a dispiriting loss. My guess is that they’ll continue to bring their grinding, defensive-minded game to the ice to make things as difficult as possible for their Canucks. Nashville has a lot of good things to take from these games, even if they’re down 2-1.

You don’t have to be keenly observant to notice how great the Nashville atmosphere has been in these playoffs. Let’s just hope they opt against another “Gold Out” in Game 4, though, or all of our eyes will suffer. (This post’s main image gives you a small glimpse of that eye-straining unified color experiment, which I called the NHL’s answer to Boise State’s horrid blue field.)

Latest Posts
  1. 18 going on 30: Habs’ prospect Fucale must be patient behind Price

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Zachary Fucale AP

    He’s wise to be patient with Carey Price cemented in the No. 1 spot.

  2. Panthers will bring hockey to Dominican Republic

    Sep 4, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT

    2015 NHL All-Star Weekend - Mascot Portraits Getty Images

    They previously visited Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.

  3. Report: Bruins extend tryout offer to Gustavsson

    Sep 4, 2015, 7:20 PM EDT

    Jonas Gustavsson AP

    Meanwhile, Daniel Paille still looks for work.

  4. Happy now? Kessel dropped 13 lbs. this summer

    Sep 4, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel AP

    His critics get one fewer straw to grasp.

  5. Rich Peverley retires from NHL, joins Stars’ front office

    Sep 4, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT

    Rich Peverley AP

    He’ll reportedly work in the player development department.

  6. Rangers nab Chris Drury as director of player development

    Sep 4, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT

    Rangers Sign Chris Drury And Scott Gomez Getty Images

    GM Jeff Gorton is excited to bring him back to New York.

  7. Update: Multiple witnesses reportedly subpoenaed in Patrick Kane rape investigation

    Sep 4, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane AP

    Everyone that was at his Hamburg home during the night of the alleged incident, to be exacted.

  8. Tyler Johnson should be ready for Lightning training camp

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:47 AM EDT

    Tyler Johnson AP

    He’s recovering from a broken right wrist.

  9. Zetterberg: Babcock leaving Detroit was best for both sides

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    Stanley Cup Finals - Detroit Red Wings v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Six Getty Images

    A summer of change provides “a fresh start.”

  10. Lightning’s Vasilevskiy out 2-3 months after getting blood clot removed

    Sep 4, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Andrei Vasilevskiy AP

    Less (or at least delayed) competition for Ben Bishop.

  11. Dmitry Orlov (wrist) ready after missing 2014-15

    Sep 3, 2015, 10:46 PM EDT

    Dmitry Orlov Getty Images

    He might serve on the Capitals’ third defensive pairing.

  12. Coyotes sign ’15 first rounder Nick Merkley

    Sep 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Nick Merkley Getty Images

    He was Arizona’s second pick of the draft after Dylan Strome.

  13. Voynov detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    Sep 3, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    Slava Voynov AP

    They took him under custody from jail and now he’s awaiting a hearing with an immigration judge.

  14. Calgary presents Ryan Wilson with PTO

    Sep 3, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    Ryan Wilson Getty Images

    Can he find a role with the Flames given their deep blueline?

  15. Interviewer: Raanta’s rooting against Hawks quote is real, but needs context

    Sep 3, 2015, 4:57 PM EDT

    Antti Raanta Getty Images

    “Antti was frustrated after Chicago send him [a] second time [to the] AHL and he told me truly how he felt.”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (2066)
  2. P. Kessel (1282)
  3. M. Richards (1241)
  4. N. Backstrom (1142)
  5. M. Giordano (1006)