Game 46: Secret Santo
Santorelli's marker scored at 5:56 into the third period broke a 1-1 deadlock and proved to be the eventual game-winner as the Canucks squeaked past the Central Division-leading Blues with a 2-1 victory at Rogers Arena.
The win – the first for the Canucks in 2014 – snapped the Canucks' season-high five-game winless skid while concurrently ending the Blues' seven-game win streak, which had been the longest active streak in the NHL entering the night.
Santorelli's goal was as timely as it was unexpected. It came while the Vancouver-native was skating on the fourth line alongside Dale Weise and Darren Archibald – a spot he had been demoted to after starting the game on the first line alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Santorelli was able to cap off a strong shift by his line by deflecting a Jason Garrison point shot past Blues' netminder Brian Elliott for his 10th of the season and his first in six games.
If Santorelli was the man of the moment of the Canucks, goaltender Eddie Lack was without a doubt the man of the hour for the team.
Lack stopped 30 of 31 shots against a Blues team that boasted the league's top offence, including making several highlight-reel stops in the first two periods when St. Louis clearly carried the play.
His best save, though, came not long after Santorelli's go-ahead goal when he denied T.J. Oshie at the top of the crease after the Blues' forward took a beautiful cross-ice feed from Jaden Schwartz and looked to have a sure goal.
Zac Dalpe had the other goal for the Canucks while Alex Pietrangelo had the lone marker for the Blues. Elliott made 20 saves in the loss for St. Louis.
The Canucks hold their Canucks For Kids SuperSkills competition, powered by Rogers, on Saturday at Rogers Arena. They return to game competition on Monday when they open a three-game road trip facing the Los Angeles Kings.
HANDY MAN HANK: After not taking a single faceoff in Tuesday's game against the Penguins, Henrik Sedin was back at work in the faceoff dot on Friday and he seemed none the worse for wear. He finished with the highest faceoff win percentage among all players on both teams on Friday winning seven-of-nine draws (78 percent). He took five faceoffs in the first period and two each in the second and third periods, respectively. Vancouver, as a team, won 60 percent of the draws in the game.
STREAK SNAPPER: The Blues brought a seven-game win streak and a nine-game point streak (7-0-2) into Friday's game – both of which were ended by the Canucks' regulation victory. The nine-game point streak had been the longest for the Blues since they set their franchise record of 11 consecutive games with a point back in 2000.
NOTES AND NUMBERS: Dale Weise returned to the lineup after sitting out on Tuesday as a healthy scratch. He was on the ice for the Canucks' game-winner... Jason Garrison extended his point streak to three games (1-2-3), tied for his second-longest of the season... Tom Sestito appeared in his 100th career NHL game... John Tortorella appeared in his 900th career NHL game as head coach... The Blues were held to a single goal for the first time since November 17 – a 4-1 loss in Washington.