The St. Louis Blues (3-1-3) needed a bounceback win at Enterprise Center but fell just short to the Vancouver Canucks (4-2-0) in a shootout, 4-3. The Blues got on the board first with Robby Fabbri’s first regular season goal since last November. Michael Ferland tied the game for the Canucks, but just a minute later the Blues grabbed 2 goals in 47 seconds, thanks to Pietrangelo and Tarasenko. J.T. Miller got his fourth of the season in the 2nd period, and new captain Bo Horvat tied the game for the Canucks at the end of a 5-on-3 power play.
Despite the score, the goaltenders had an amazing duel throughout the game, with Binnington making 29 saves and Thatcher Demko making 34. The game would require overtime and a 6-round shootout, with Josh Leivo burying the eventual game-winner. The Canucks grabbed their first road win of the season while the Blues manage to salvage two points in two games. The Blues continue their homestand on Saturday against the Canadiens at 2pm CT.
The Blues started the game with a few bad passes and turnovers, allowing the Canucks to get some odd-man rushes early. However, Jordan Binnington refused to fold easily and made a couple of solid saves early in the game. Despite a faltering start, St. Louis found their legs with the help of plays from the depth players like Robert Thomas, who returned from injury tonight. After some solid forechecking, it was Robby Fabbri with some great positioning to bury the first of the game and his first of the season.
Fabbri gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 14:25 into the first with the help of Tyler Bozak and Alex Steen. The Blues and Canucks both traded chances back and forth, but neither could find the net for the rest of the 1st. The Blues went off to the locker room up 1-0, outshooting the Canucks 11-9.
The Blues came out with much more energy to start the 2nd period, but the Canucks came back with a vengeance as well. Two minutes into the second, Jordan Binnington made a phenomenal save to keep it scoreless. However, Michael Ferland cashed in on the defensive miscues and a perfectly placed rebound to tie the game.
Ferland’s first of the year tied it 1-1, but St. Louis didn’t go quietly. A 3-on-2 rush in favor of the Blues lead to Sundqvist getting a stretch pass to Pietrangelo to take the lead back just 43 seconds later to take the lead back. The Blues weren’t finished either. After Pietrangelo’s 3rd of the season, the Blues kept their foot on the gas. The top line of Schenn, Schwartz and Tarasenko had a clean rush entry and Vladimir scored on the open rebound shot. The Blues grabbed two goals in 47 seconds, and it was 3-1 just like that.
St. Louis enjoyed the 2-goal lead, but they started to get sloppy. There were odd-man breaks and all sorts of chances both ways as the pace of the game burst wide open. The Canucks and Blues were headed north-south for almost the rest of the game, until St. Louis had a 5-on-3 man advantage. However, the goaltending of Thatcher Demko was superb, as the Blues were stopped cold on several chances. This gave Vancouver and opportunity to rally back into the game, and J.T. Miller got them within one after an initial shot rang off the crossbar.
With the score cut down 3-2, the Canucks were still pounding on the door, but neither team found twine after Miller’s goal. The Blues still held a one-goal lead through 40, outshooting Vancouver 24-20.
The Blues and Canucks both carried their momentum through the final 20 of regulation, but the Canucks were slightly more disciplined than St. Louis. Almost midway through the period, Robert Thomas took a delayed penalty for goaltender interference, and during the media break, David Perron was charged a penalty, giving the Canucks a full 2 minutes of 5-on-3. St. Louis admirably killed the penalty, but just as the penalties expired, captain Bo Horvat scored after a mad scramble in front of the net.
Horvat’s first of the season tied the game three all, and the pace only seemed to ramp up. However, Binnington and Demko were still incredible through the final 12 minutes of regulation, and the game would head to overtime.
The Canucks sent an absolute barrage early in overtime, but Binnington still played stellar in net to keep their heads above water. This gave St. louis a chance to turn it around and make chances of their own including some great odd-man rushes from top players like Ryan O’Reilly and Tarasenko. Demko was having a night of his own, however, and after a lightning-fast overtime period, neither team could end the game.
The shootout went 6 rounds in, with neither team scoring until the final round. Bozak, Tarasenko, O’Reilly, Schenn, Perron and Steen shot, respectively, for St. Louis, but none of them could find twine. Finally, it was Josh Leivo who had a great stutter-step move to beat Binnington and end the game, 4-3. The Blues outshot the Canucks 37-32, but dropped their second straight game in extra time.
Craig Berube knew there was still a lot on the backend that the team needed to improve upon after tonight’s loss. “We’re still not where we need to be. We gotta be tighter defensively,” Coach Berube commented after the game. “There is puck play at times, but we gotta clean it up. We’re just turning the puck over too much.” Berube also accepted blame for the bench minor David Perron served in the 3rd period, apparently from protesting the Robert Thomas penalty.
The Blues are back in action Saturday against the Canadiens at 3pm ET. To watch and listen to the game, head to:
STL: FSMW, ESPN 101.1, Fox Sports GO, NHL.com
MTL: TSN2, CKGM 990, NHL.com
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