On Ryan Kesler’s most promising play this road trip, he didn’t score.

He didn’t set anyone up, and didn’t defend a pivotal scoring chance.

In fact, it’s a play that had no impact whatsoever on a game.

But when Kesler was killing a penalty late in the second period Monday in Nashville, it meant something as he skated the puck over the blueline and unleashed it with a wicked snap from 40 feet out.

The puck whizzed by Pekka Rinne, who barely budged, and ripped off the goalpost.

Kesler’s wrist shot, which had vanished for most of last season, was back. It wasn’t magic, or luck, either.

It was the product of Kesler being Kesler, hauling himself into Rogers Arena with that walking boot, the one he had on for nearly six weeks while his broken foot healed, to work on his wrist shot.

Having gone from scoring 41 goals two years ago to 22 last season, he has been out to prove the 41 was no fluke. It wasn’t quite the same as the summer he spent tearing up his garage with 100 shots a day.

“I shot a lot before I started skating with the guys,” Kesler said. “There were times I’d shoot with that boot on too.

“Being able to work on my shot while I was off has really made a difference. It’s coming into form.”

Like so much of what Kesler brings, the Canucks are going to need it.

“He plays in every situation, so he gives us strength in our special teams and on five-on-five,” Henrik Sedin said. “But most of all, with that shot, he gives us that extra offensive weapon.

“He can beat guys one-on-one. In a word, he’s a threat.”