Don't mess with Kess: Kelser's hat trick helps Canucks down Bluejackets in OT
Ryan Kesler has been the most consistent forward on the ice for the Vancouver Canucks the past few games, and he kept his hot streak going Wednesday night, as he had his first career hat trick in a 3-2 overtime win against the Columbus Bluejackets.
The Canuck forward accounted for all the Canuck goals, and each one was a beauty.
Not only did he contribute offensively, but he also played strong defensively too, reminding everyone watching that he has twice been a Selke trophy finalist.
But let's get back to the goals.
The first was a goal that must have been inspired by former teammate, and jersey retiree Markus Naslund, as Kesler snapped a beautiful, quick shot past Columbus backup goaltender Mathieu Garon. It pinged off the post and in for Kesler's 13th goal of the year.
In the second period, young Columbus centerman Derick Brassard went in on Luongo two on one with Rick Nash. Luongo, cheating a bit to take away the passing option left too much room on his blocker side, and Brassard placed a shot high over Luongo's shoulder and in. It was a welcome change of pace for the Bluejackets, as they rely heavily on Rick Nash for all means of production. Nash had come into the game with 4 goals in his last 4 games.
Just over a minute later, however, Kesler got the Canucks back up by one, though it was a very strange chain of events that led to the goal. The puck was chipped into the Blue jackets zone, and Rostislav Klesla was back to receive it on what looked like a routine play. Instead, Klesla completely whiffed on the puck and fell down trying to recover. Kesler swooped in, took the puck, waited for Garon to go down, and snapped a rolling puck just between Garon`s pad and blocker.
In the third, where the Canucks have been dominant all season, the Blue Jackets exposed a rare chink in their armor, as rookie Tom Sestito tipped a Mike Commodore point shot home for his first goal as an NHLer. It was also a powerplay goal.
The game went into overtime, and that`s where the Blue Jackets made a fatal mistake; they gave the Canucks a powerplay. The pp had been dormant going into the OT session, but Daniel Sedin feathered a perfect pass to, guess who, Ryan Kesler for his third of the night, and the hats rained down at Rogers Arena, while the Vancouver Canucks skated off with a win.
The Canucks play host to the visiting Maple Leafs at 4:00 pm pt.
Notes: Rostislav Klesla played in his 500th career game... This was Ryan Kesler`s first career hat trick.. Daniel Sedin had an assist to extend his point streak to 9 games, Henrik also had an assist to bring his point streak to 4.