After an intense and very interesting game, the Vancouver Canucks defeated the reigning champions St. Louis Blues following a shootout, 4-3. It is the fourth victory for the Canucks and an indication that this might be a nice season for Travis Green’s boys.
But what also impresses is the way the guests rallied back and reached a two-goal deficit. After Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal 3:34 into the second, the Blues were up 3-1. It seemed that the champs aren’t going to waste this lead, as they did in the previous games.
But it didn’t happen.
Thatcher Demko sealed the fate of the Blues as he stopped all six shots of the hosts’ in the shootout. He ended the night with 34 saves, and was the one who stepped up in the defining moments of this match.
“I’m just glad we were able to get the win,” Demko said. “It’s not about me, really.”
With the result 3-1, the home team had a two-man advantage on the ice, and yet, they couldn’t use it. It was mostly because of Demko, who orchestrated his defense pretty well.
“I thought if we had a chance to come back, we had to kill that one off,” Demko said. “It was a pretty long one, but we have some of the best penalty-killers in the League.”
The sole goal in the opening part of the game was a work of the Blues’ LW Robby Fabri, who placed the puck into the net 35 seconds before the buzzer.
A wild second period saw four goals, three of them in the span of just 90 seconds. At first, it was Micheal Ferland who equalized the result to 1-1 after scoring for the Canucks. Then, Alex Pietrangelo and the above mentioned Tarasenko pulled away Blues, in 47 seconds. JT Miller decreased to 3-2 in the late part of the period.
A fierce battle in the third sequence brought one more goal, and that was Bo Horvat, who found a way to place the back behind Jordan Binnington following a scramble in front of the Blues’ goal.
After an overtime, which wasn’t particularly interesting came the shootout. The spectators at the Enterprise Center saw 11 straight misses until Josh Leivo scored a spectacular goal to bring the first win for his team on the road this season.
The home team players were very disappointed because they managed to lose the third game this season in which they had a two-goal lead. All of them slipped away either after the overtime or a shootout, but that one point won isn’t of any consolation to Craig Berube’s guys.
“It’s a staple of our game for years here, right, is closing out leads,” said Pietrangelo, the Blues captain. “We’ve just got to find a way to keep playing the same way. A couple weird bounces the last couple games, not an excuse, but I think we can still do a better job.”
St. Louis will have a chance to improve the impression against the Montreal Canadiens this Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Canucks will be looking to extend their winning streak against the New Jersey Devils on the same day. It is a second of a four-game road trip the team from Vancouver is on right now.