One is nursing an abdominal injury that occasionally gets reported as the flu, and the other has been labouring since the playoffs started and finally showed where it hurt Tuesday night.
Mikael Samuelsson, demoted to the fourth line, and Henrik Sedin, immovable from the first, hobbled out onto the power play in overtime — Samuelsson on the point, Henrik on the half wall despite injuring what looked to be a hip or groin or thigh muscle late in the third period.
And forgot all about their problems, and helped make a goal.
A pretty important goal, you might say.
Not a work of art, like a Henrik-and-Daniel special, just a down-and-dirty screen by Ryan Kesler and a point shot by Samuelsson and a deflection. But after dominating overtime in Game 2 and losing, and after just about running the Predators out of their own loud, proud rink in Game 3 and still being forced to take it to extra time, it was a goal the Canucks absolutely, positively had to have.
The 3-2 victory — with Kesler coming alive for two goals and a big hand in the other — also featured two power-play goals, lifting a very large weight off the principals, and was in all ways a relief and a richly deserved result.
The Canucks played a nearly perfect first 10 minutes of the game, and held the Predators to two real shots (and two imagined by the local charity in charge of stats) in the entire second period — both virtually as time expired, on the power play.
They came out of the gate jumping and had the Predators in every kind of early trouble except one — the main one: they still couldn't solve Pekka Rinne in goal, and the big Finn kept the home team alive until the Preds recovered their equilibrium.
And yet, the Canucks owned the run of play, and a game the Predators really had no business still being in with a chance to win by the third period went to overtime again, on another late goal — this time not Roberto Luongo's fault but Christian Ehrhoff's, when the German defender mishandled the puck after the Canucks won a draw to Luongo's left, lost it to Joel Ward and then cut in front of his net only to have the puck go in off his skate.
Canucks' ailing Swedes team up to deliver crucial OT goal
Vancouver Sun | May 4