Blues pull out 2-1 win over Canucks in OT
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Brayden Schenn’s hot hand is helping steer the St. Louis Blues to the top of the NHL standings.
Schenn scored in overtime to give the Blues a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night after St. Louis trailed by two goals in the second period.
Schenn is on a career-high points streak with five goals and 10 assists in the last seven games.
“It’s been fun,” said Schenn, who is tied for the team lead with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists). “The team is winning, we’re playing good hockey. We’re finding ways to win and guys are stepping up every night.
“I’m just trying to be a piece of the puzzle here and an addition to this team. It’s fun being on a team that’s in a battle for first place.”
Schenn won the game at 2:41 of overtime. He carried the puck from his own blue line, cut between two Vancouver defensemen and scored on a shot to the blocker side.
“It wasn’t an unbelievable shot by any means,” said Schenn, who was traded to St. Louis from Philadelphia in a draft-day transaction in June. “It was a lucky shot, but I’ll take goals like that.”
Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson said it was a shot he should have stopped.
“I think honestly he fanned on it and missed the shot a little bit,” said Nilsson, who finished the night with 20 saves. “I flinched on it a little bit and it went in.
“A tough goal. Maybe a save I would have liked to have made. It’s unfortunate.”
Joel Edmundson, Vladimir Sobotka and Colton Parayko also scored for St. Louis (15-5-1). Paul Stastny added three assists.
The Blues lead the Western Conference with 31 points and trail Tampa Bay by one point for the overall NHL lead.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period. The Canucks’ Markus Granlund scored on a three-on-one shorthanded breakaway to make it 2-1, and a power-play goal by Sven Baertschi gave Vancouver a 3-1 lead midway through the second.
Sobotka narrowed that gap to one before the period ended. Edmundson said that goal sent the Blues into the third period confident they could complete the comeback.
“We just came in here and regrouped,” said the defenseman who tied the game at 4:46 of the third with his sixth goal of the season. “We know we’re never out of a game. We think we can score a goal whenever, so we just stayed positive. We went out in the third period and played a fast game so we just of took over the game.”
Head coach Mike Yeo liked the way his team battled back.
“That builds confidence if you can come back from deficits, if you continue to play your game and don’t get outside of what it is that makes you successful,” he said. “Our best period was by far our third and that’s a good sign of our leadership.”
Brock Boeser also scored for Vancouver (9-8-3). Loui Eriksson added two assists.
The Canucks, who have one win in their last five games (1-3-1), felt they let a point slip away.
“When we’re up like that we’ve just got to keep sticking the fork in them,” said Boeser, who leads Vancouver with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists). “We might have had a couple letdowns there where they scored.”
Defenseman Erik Gudbranson said giving up points now can come back to haunt a team later.
“Being in the position we are in, we need to find a way to lock that down,” he said. “Those points are truly valuable if you look at us in the standings.
“Come the end of February or March, those are the points that we are going to be kicking ourselves for not getting.”
The Canucks seemed to fade down the stretch, managing just six shots in the third period and none in the overtime.
“I don’t think we sat back,” said Baertschi, who also assisted on Boeser’s opening goal. “They came out hard. You have to respect a team like that. They are on a great run now. The game was back and forth. It could have went both ways tonight.”
NOTES: RW Jake Virtanen returned to Vancouver’s lineup after being a healthy scratch for three games but had a team-low 9:12 of ice time. ... D Chris Tanev (hand) and D Troy Stecher (knee) skated and will join the team for a six-game road trip that starts Tuesday in Philadelphia. ... Canucks scratches were D Patrick Wiercioch, C Alex Burmistrov and C Brendan Gaunce. ... After the opening faceoff, the teams played 5:19 before a whistle. ... Blues RW Vladimir Tarasenko led all players with five shots. ... St. Louis C Oskar Sundqvist played despite blocking a couple shots in Thursday’s win at Edmonton. ... C Wade Megan was recalled by the Blues from Chicago of the AHL but didn’t dress. ... D Nate Prosser was a healthy scratch.