Canucks and Preds: No offence but ...

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne makes a save on Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin in the...

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne makes a save on Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin in the first period of overtime during Game 2 of their NHL Western Conference semifinal hockey playoff in Vancouver, British Columbia April 30, 2011. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:47 PM ET

Five things to watch for in Game 3 Tuesday of the Western semifinal between the Vancouver Canucks and Predators in Nashville. The series is tied 1-1 following the opening two games in Vancouver.

STRUGGLING SEDINS

Two games and no points for the Canucks dynamic duo so far this series. Not exactly up to expectations for the reigning NHL MVP (Henrik) and the favourite for this season's honour (Daniel).

The scoring struggles don't end their, either. Daniel has only one goal in the past five outings, while Henrik has just a single assist in the past six games.

Sure, they're not alone -- the list of struggling Canucks includes Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond, Mikael Samuelsson and pretty much everybody else -- but that cliche of "your best players have to be your best players" does ring true.

The Sedins have created quite a few chances during the past couple of games, but coming close matters only in dancing and horse shoes, not hockey.

The Canucks need their top guns to start firing on all cylinders.

TOOTHLESS PREDATORS

The Predators are even in this series, but they aren't getting much offensive help from their top players, either.

Their four highest scoring forwards -- Martin Erat, Sergei Kostitsyn, Patric Hornqvist and David Legwand -- are all in the offensive doldrums.

Erat -- who missed the final two games of Round 1 against Anaheim because of an "upper-body" injury believed to be a concussion -- at least had some chances in the past game against Vancouver.

The other three have not been noticeable.

The Preds are getting by on great goaltending, outstanding defencemen and a forward corps that is known for hard work, but you have to believe the Canucks eventually will start scoring. The Preds must match the Canucks offence.

NOT SO POWERFUL PLAY

Hey, we appreciate great goaltending and strong defence as much as any hockey fan, but there comes a point when teams fighting for the Stanley Cup have to take advantage of the power play. That simply has not happened in this series.

The Predators are 0-for-9 with the man-advantage so far this series. The Canucks are 0-for-6.

The waste of power play minutes doesn't start there with these two teams.

Nashville's power play has been skunked by Vancouver through 23 chances counting all four regular-season games. The Canucks have just one goal on 22 opportunities. That goal came from Daniel Sedin, in the second regular-season meeting.

If these teams aren't going to score, can we just take two minutes off the clock and speed up the game?

MINUTE EATERS

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is receiving kudos these days, but the duo of Ryan Suter and Shea Weber must take a bow, too, especially after the role those defencemen played Saturday in a 2-1 overtime win.

Suter not only scored the game-tying goal with 67 seconds remaining in regulation, but he made the first pass -- and recorded an assist -- on the game-winning goal.

Suter's ice-time clock ended at 42:01.

Weber's ice time Saturday night was a game-high 42:12.

This may surprise a few people, but Vancouver's ice-time leader in the game was Kevin Bieksa at 38:08, but it's worth noting centre Ryan Kesler played 33:43.

THE DELIVERY GUY

It has been a wild week for Canucks forward Alex Burrows.

After netting his second goal of the game in overtime to clinch Game 7 of the Chicago series and the birth of his daughter the next night, Burrows continues to be the biggest offensive force for the Canucks of late.

In the past three games, the Canucks have scored only four goals, and Burrows has three of them.

The pesky forward is coming off a 26-goal season, and netted 35 in 2009-10, so he has the offensive touch.

Maybe he can share the wealth, or even spread the magic touch.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak


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