Vancouver Canucks celebrate the win over the St. Louis Blues during third period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Vancouver Canucks celebrate the win over the St. Louis Blues during third period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Motte tallies 2 as Canucks rally for 4-3 NHL playoff win over Blues

Vancouver takes 3-2 series lead over St. Louis

Fourth-line grinder Tyler Motte scored two breakaway goals to power the Vancouver Canucks to a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues in NHL playoff action Wednesday.

The Canucks lead the best-of-seven opening-round series 3-2 and can send the defending Stanley Cup champions packing from the post-season with a win Friday night.

J.T. Miller and Jake Virtanen, with his first career playoff goal, also scored for Vancouver, and goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 36 saves for the win.

Ryan O’Reilly, with his fourth goal of the series, Brayden Schenn, and Zach Sanford replied for the Blues.

Goaltender Jake Allen stopped 26 shots and took his first loss in three starts in the series.

It was a tale of two games.

The Blues were up 3-1 midway through the second period, blasting away at Markstrom and compelling him to make some acrobatic saves, when the game turned on a dime and the Canucks scored three unanswered goals.

Miller cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal that was all sandpaper. He won a puck battle behind the net, came around the front and whacked away as Blues jostled and shoved him until the puck found its way under Allen and over the goal line.

Vancouver tied it when Virtanen, standing on the goal line to Allen’s right, fired a severely sharp-angle shot that bounced off Allen’s arm and in. As the seconds ticked down in the period, Motte jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone, raced in and fired a shot low blocker side for a 4-3 lead.

Markstrom made some more point-blank saves in the third period to hold off a furious Blues charge.

Motte got Vancouver on the scoresheet while shorthanded in the first period when Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo broke his stick attempting a shot at the Canucks blue line. Motte jumped on the puck and raced in on Allen with a stick-less Pietrangelo eventually chasing him down, but Motte simply turned him inside out and fired a shot stick-side high and in.

After Motte’s icebreaker, it was three straight goals for St. Louis that began when Oskar Sundqvist outduelled Canuck defender Chris Tanev in the corner to deliver a picture-perfect backhand pass to Schenn barrelling down in the slot for a shot high glove-side on Markstrom.

With the seconds ticking down in the first period, O’Reilly showed off some sweet hands and slick skating, going wide around defenceman Alex Edler, swooping around the net and banking the puck in off Markstrom’s skate while defenceman Jordie Benn got caught standing and watching.

READ MORE: Comprehensive Vancouver Canucks coverage here

Sanford made it 3-1 on the power play, deking and juking through the right face-off circle and using Edler as a screen to rip a wrist shot high glove side on Markstrom.

After that it was all Vancouver.

It was a tough game for Edler. The Swedish defenceman got injured in the waning moments of the second period when Blue Jordan Kyrou fell down and his leg flew up and his skate caught Edler on the right ear. Edler grabbed his ear, skated right off the ice and down the tunnel.

The Blues were without prolific scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who has gone back to St. Louis to have his shoulder reassessed by medical staff. The Russian winger played only 10 games in the regular season before dislocating his left shoulder and undergoing surgery in October.

The Blues did get centre Ivan Barbashev back. Barbashev has not been with the team since Aug. 4, leaving to be with his family in the U.S. for the birth of their first child.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

For more news from B.C. and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanuckshockeyNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Comox Valley Sports Centre re-opened in the summer. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission chair commends staff efforts in challenging year

Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission chair Daniel Arbour delivered a year-end report… Continue reading

The Lamplighters wants to end its lease with the village. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Briefs: Cumberland agrees to end hall lease with Lamplighters

Council aims to add more daytime meetings in 2021 for seniors

A rendering of the proposed window covering and sign for the business planned for downtown Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland report
Cumberland approves location change for cannabis permit

Site next door to the one planned seen as more financially feasible

The DPAC is holding an online forum on Nov. 30 for candidates for the upcoming school district byelection. Screenshot DPAC poster
Online forum for Comox Valley school board byelection is Nov. 30

Six candidates have filed papers to fill the trustee position in Area C

The Food Share program volunteers pack supplies for food-insecure families. Screenshot, CCSS website
Cumberland council OK’s money for food program

Community school group asks to use unused money to help families

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Most Read