|Vrbata gets a hero's hug from Ekman-Larsson. (Getty Images)|
Western Conference Quarterfinal Game 2 (Coyotes lead series 2-0)
Radim Vrbata: The Coyotes forward was better than solid all season long but got very little notice because he played in Phoenix. Sad, but true. Well a few more performances -- and specifically plays like the own below -- like this and you can rest assured people will be talking about him. He had a goal and a beautiful assist as the Coyotes held down home ice, without even needing an overtime in Game 2!
Shane Doan's goal at 3:36 of the third period. No, it wasn't the game-winner, but it was the insurance tally that eased the uneasy feeling that was probably growing in Phoenix. They had trouble holding onto leads in the first round against the Blackhawks and when Ryan Suter scored within the first minute of the third period to make it a 4-3 game, you had to worry. Then Doan scored and the lead was comfortably back at two goals. It was also important as it showed Phoenix would continue to push on offense instead of going into a shell.
Huge for Phoenix. It's a big boost for a team to hold down the home-ice advantage and jump out to a 2-0 series lead. It makes it even better when that team normally struggles to score but pots five goals on a Vezina Trophy finalist. It's too early for the Predators to get a feeling of panic but this puts a lot of pressure on them as they head back to Nashville for Games 3 and 4. Lose one of those and they face elimination in their next game in Phoenix.