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NHL Playoff Recap: Canucks better find killer instinct quick after Game 5 loss

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Joel Ward had a pair for the Nashville Predators in their 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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NHL Playoff Recap: Canucks better find killer instinct quick after Game 5 loss

Hockey News
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The Hockey News' NHL Playoff Recap gives you our take of what happened in each game of the night and what the consequences will be for the rest of the series.

We also provide our Three Stars of the games, which will be tabulated after each round. First Star is three points, Second Star is two points and Third Star is one point. Be sure to vote on who you think the first star was as well.

Of course, there's the other side of the coin: The Black Hole is a piece of the lineup that just couldn't get it going on a given night and contributed to a difficult evening for the team.

GAME 5: PREDATORS 4, CANUCKS 3 – CANUCKS LEADS SERIES 3-2

THN’s Take: Let the nervous sweat begin again. After their first round uber-scare, the Canucks once again failed to put away a team on the ropes.

As has been a theme with Vancouver throughout this series, they were again unable to finish on a plethora of chances. The inability to convert can be chalked somewhat up to the phenomenal play of Pekka Rinne, but Canada's Great West Hope cannot be let off that easily. Sticks are being squeezed and what came so easily in the regular season has slipped away. Driving the net is working, but occurring far less than fruitless cycles and blasts from the point, which are regularly being knocked down by the mass of Predators who've collected in front of their goalie.

Credit must go to the other side, though. The Canucks struggle through long stretches to keep up with the Preds waves of energy. No reason to expect anything than the full effort Nashville has put forth in every outing of these playoffs in Game 6. The outcome will be determined by Vancouver's ability to finish past the Finnish Wall or if Luongo, shaky on Saturday night, can finally steal one.

Three Stars
1. Joel Ward – Is that Brett Hull out there? A pair of snipes in the third and another all-around terrific game adds another chapter to the 30-year-old's remarkable tale.

2. Pekka Rinne – It's reached the point where his play gets overlooked because it's become commonplace. Just another eye-popping 31-save performance. Yawn.

3. Ryan Kesler – Busted up face after taking a puck square in the jaw? No problem, just one missed shift. Oh, and two goals to boot. 

The Black Hole

Daniel Sedin – Or Henrik. Take your pick. It's not that they played poorly, it's just uninspired and unproductive. Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are winning the war...and that's not what you'd expect from the reigning and soon-to-be Hart Trophy winners.

 

POLL: Who was your first star of the game?

The NHL Game Night Recap will get you caught up with all the playoff action. THN will name our Three Stars for each game and tabulate the results after each series. First Star = three points, Second Star = two points, Third Star = one point.

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NHL Playoff Recap: Canucks better find killer instinct quick after Game 5 loss