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

RDCK reduces number of properties under evacuation alert from Talbott Creek Fire to 46

Improved visibility has allowed helicopters to resume water suppression efforts on fire

Trail Smoke Eaters to host Cranbrook Bucks to open exhibition season

The BCHL announces a 100-plus game exhibition season

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

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

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Most Read