NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It's a myth that Ryan Kesler plays his best hockey against the Nashville Predators.
The Vancouver Canuck centre played – past tense – the best hockey of his National Hockey League career in a virtuoso playoff performance against the Predators 2½ years ago. But in the regular season, with just six goals and 11 points in 31 career games against Nashville before Tuesday, Kesler is actually less productive against the Predators than he is against 26 other teams.
But he set his time machine to May, 2011 on Tuesday night, scoring twice in the third period and driving Vancouver to a 3-1 win against the Predators.
They were ugly goals that made a beautiful road trip for the Canucks, who are scheduled to fly home today after going 3-1 in Ottawa, New York, Raleigh and Nashville, losing only against the Rangers on Saturday.
With back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 28 and 4-2-1 in their last seven...