– Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images
Despite a three-goal comeback in the third period, St. Louis fell to the Vancouver Canucks 6-5 in a shootout.
This was the final game in the three-game road trip in Canada for the Blues as they finished 2-0-1 over the span.
With the shootout defeat, St. Louis earns a point and still sits second in the Central Division with a record of 40-18-5. The Blues are just four points behind the Nashville Predators and five points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Jake Allen struggled in net allowing four goals on just 21 shots before Brian Elliott came into the game to replace Allen with in the third period. Elliott pulled himself after allowing a goal in the second period prompting Allen to return to the net for the remainder of the game.
The Blues struck first despite the result of the game.
Marcel Goc slid a dump-in attempt to the end boards in the offensive zone. Reaves swooped in and picked up the puck before curling to the outside and cycling the puck back down to Goc. Steve Ott received the quick pass from Goc before sending it back to Reaves heading down the slot. Reaves beat Eddie Lack high to make it 1-0 Blues just 3:02 into the opening 20 minutes of the game.
But St. Louis was not finished as just 2:57 later, it added its second of the game.
In his first season with the Canucks, Luca Sbisa carried the puck up ice before turning it over to David Backes after Alexander Steen disrupted the play. Backes passed to T.J. Oshie who gave it to Alex Pietrangelo who scored his sixth of the year giving the Blues a 2-0 lead.
But the remainder of the first period was all Vancouver.
Linden Vey gave the break-out pass to Chris Higgins with speed. Higgins carried the puck and sent a pass out of reach of Jay Bouwmeester as he went to one knee. Shawn Matthias picked up the pass and one-timed a shot past Allen falling as Allen fell to the ice attempting to make the save.
Roughly two minutes later in the period, Yannick Weber controlled a shot wide near the blue line by Nick Bonino. Weber passed the puck to Derek Dorsett who quickly gave it over Radim Vrbata along the side boards. Vrbata sent the puck back to the point to Weber who slapped it past Allen with a screen in front. The goal tied the game at two midway through the first period.
The goals kept coming for the Canucks in the second period.
Jannik Hansen sent a weak, back-hand shot in on Allen. It appeared Allen covered the puck as the referee blew the whistle. However, the puck trickled into the net as the whistle blew. Upon review, the goal stood as Vancouver took its first lead of the game 3-2 with 9:45 left in the second period.
Vancouver added to its lead as Henrik Sedin beat Allen for his 13th of the season to put the Canucks out in front 4-2 after two periods of play.
Head Coach Ken Hitchock pulled Allen and sent Elliott to replace Allen for the third period.
In the final period of regulation, Weber sent a pass by the end line to Nick Bonino all alone. Bonino scored off the post past Elliott making it five unanswered goals for the Canucks.
After the goal, Elliott pulled himself from the net and made his way to the bench. As Elliott began heading down the tunnel to the locker room, Hitchcock grabbed Allen and appeared to have a heated exchange with the net minder.
Allen re-entered the game for the Blues and stopped each shot faced for the rest regulation and overtime.
St. Louis got a spark from Dmitrij Jaskin on the fourth-rated power play in the NHL as Paul Stastny tapped a pass over to Jaskin to cut the lead to two with 11:42 left in regulation.
Over five minutes later, Vladamir Tarasenko weaved through the neutral zone and into the attacking end before giving it to Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz dropped it back to Petteri Lindbohm who fired his second of his career cutting the lead to just one with over five minutes remaining in the third period.
Then with under five minutes remaining in the period, Backes shielded the puck away from Vey alone the left-hand side boards. Backes fought off the check and sent it to Oshie behind the net who returned the pass to Backes in front of the net. Backes jammed it into the net tying the game at five as the game went to overtime.
Oshie’s pass earned him his third assist of the night and team-leading sixth game with at least three points.
The score remained tied after five minutes of play in overtime as the game went to a shootout.
In the shootout, Vancouver scored on all three attempts to propel the Canucks to victory as the Blues’ shootout streak ended at six.
The Blues head back to the U.S. but remain on the road in their next matchup as they will take on the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season. The puck drop is set for Thursday, March 5 at 6 p.m. CT.