SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After his dominating performance against the Nashville Predators during the conference semifinals, Ryan Kesler had just one assist in the three games of the Western Conference Final against the Sharks.
But Kesler found the back of the net during a 5-on-3 power play during the second period, giving the Vancouver Canucks a 1-0 lead they would not relinquish in a 4-2 victory that has them one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1994.
Kesler's sixth goal of the postseason was a blast from the left faceoff circle, set up by a soft pass from Sami Salo.
After the game, Kesler spoke to the media about his goal and the hit he took from the Sharks' Ryane Clowe at the final buzzer.
Q: How perfect was Salo's pass to you on your goal?
Kesler: Yeah, it was good. It was a great pass by Sami and I buried it.
Q: What did you guys do differently on your 5-on-3s today after failing to convert on your two chances last game?
Kesler: I just think it was getting our shots through and hitting the net and crisp passes.
Q: What did the PK do better today?
Kesler: I think we just did our job. That's what the PK has to do. We have to outwork the power play and I think from the first period on of last game, we were pretty good. We did what we wanted to do and we continued it.
Q: How hard was it to kill five penalties to start the game?
Kesler: It was tough, but we have to do it. We take penalties, and some of those penalties we had to kill were hard-working penalties. We did it. We did a good job.
Q: What happened with Ryane Clowe at the end of the game?
Kesler: Head shot. Sucker punched me. Didn't expect it and hopefully the League looks at it.
Q: Was that the best you've seen Henrik Sedin?
Kesler: He was great. By far our best player. That's why he's our captain.
Q: How key was having Sami Salo on the point for those 5-on-3s?
Kesler: It's huge. When you have a big shot like that, you have to respect it. If you don't respect it, it's going to be in the back of your net.
Q: Was Christopher Tanev as good as you expected in his playoff debut?
Kesler: He's a special player. He's very steady back there and calm under pressure. I had full confidence in him coming in today and he did a good job.
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