There was plenty of joy, but perhaps more relief after Vancouver's 3-2 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 3 Tuesday.
The Canucks were once again the superior team, yet once again they trailed. Once again they had a late goal force overtime. And once again, they were a hare's breath from a demoralizing defeat.
Instead, they have a 2-1 series lead and a chance to take a firm grasp on the conference semi-final Thursday in Game 4.
Some more impressions on Game 3...
In a week filled so filled with patriotism, the two best players in Game 3 were American. Ryan Kesler, from Livonia, Mich., and Chris Higgins, from Smithtown, N.Y., potted all three goals and dominated all three zones.
The Canucks claim he is not injured, but he sure isn't well. He missed a shift late in the game and seemed to be bothered by a leg. Earlier in the series, he took a slash on the left hand or wrist.
Where did it go? They've been outhustled in two of three games so far, and the Predators simply aren't talented enough to beat Vancouver if that continues.
The Preds were awful. They had nearly as many shots blocked or miss the target (26) as they had on goal (30). They gave away the puck 18 times, and they won just 45 per cent of the face-offs.