|STL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -Markus Naslund thought his Vancouver Canucks created enough chances against St. Louis to score 10 goals Friday night.
The way things have been going lately, he was just happy they got more than two.
Naslund scored twice and Ryan Kesler added an insurance goal with 1:01 left to lift Vancouver to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Brendan Morrison also scored and Roberto Luongo made 19 saves as the Canucks outshot the slumping Blues 44-21 to win for just the second time in eight games.
"We poured a lot of shots at the net and I think we could have gotten 10 if we got a little bit of luck, too, Naslund said after his first two-goal game since Dec. 23, 2005.
Naslund gave Vancouver the lead for good early in the second period, racing behind defenseman Bryce Salvador to redirect Henrik Sedin's pass from the blue line, then lifting the rebound over Jason Bacashihua from a sharp angle. The Canucks' captain made it 3-1 with two minutes left in the period, snapping a shot from the slot through traffic and over Bacashihua's shoulder.
It was the first time in nine games that the Canucks scored more than two goals in regulation. Vancouver came into the game ranked 29th in the NHL averaging 2.26 goals per game, just 0.01 ahead of last-place Columbus.
"Three goals is a blowout for us this year," Naslund said. "The key is we're generating chances now and we got four tonight, hopefully we'll get another game like this and a lot of guys are going to get their confidence back."
The Blues could also use some confidence.
Doug Weight scored his first goal of the season, and Keith Tkachuk added his sixth, but St. Louis still lost for the sixth time in seven games and is 1-7-1 on the road this season.
"Home hasn't been that great either," Weight said of the 5-11-3 Blues. "There's no excuses. We're consistently underachieving. The position we're in talent-wise you have to look in the mirror and know what kind of team you have to be and if we don't play 60 minutes we're not going to get too many good results."
The Blues didn't play a full game against the Canucks, but had a chance to win because of Bacashihua. Recalled from Peoria of the AHL after Curtis Sanford was hurt Tuesday, Bacashihua got his first NHL start of the season one night after Manny Legace was pulled in Edmonton for giving up four goals on 15 shots. Bacashihua finished with 40 saves, including five stellar stops on a power play less than two minutes in.
"I'd rather face a lot of rubber, it gets me into the game," said Bacashihua, who also made several great third-period stops to deny Naslund his first hat trick in almost three years and keep the Blues within two goals.
"I tried to get the third one, but he made some good saves," said Naslund, who almost scored on a breakaway early in the third and a redirect later.
Tkachuk then closed the gap on the power play with 7:26 left, tipping Weight's point shot through traffic and past Luongo to end a long run of power-play struggles for the Blues and penalty killing success for the Canucks. St. Louis was 0-for-4 and hadn't scored in 21 chances over the last five games before the goal, while Vancouver had killed off 30 straight penalties. But Kesler caught Bacashihua heading for the bench and sealed the win with a backhanded breakaway shot.
"I was kind of in-between," Bacashihua said. "I was on my way to the bench and I saw what was happening so I tried to get back and find my angle and stacked the pads and he was able to chip it right through."
Weight, who played his 1,000th career game Thursday, opened the scoring when a weak backcheck from Naslund left him in alone on Luongo 9 minutes in.
"Certainly I haven't got off to a good start statistically," said Weight, who has one goal and 10 assists in 19 games. "I have to be a big producer on this team. I gave to play a big role every game and I haven't done that. It's nice to get one, but we've got to start winning."
Notes: The Canucks improved to 6-2-0 against Central Division teams, but are 1-8-1 against the rest of the Western Conference. ... Blues C Petr Cajanek missed a second-straight game with a hip injury. ... Wade Flaherty was called up from the AHL to dress as the Canucks backup G, while Dany Sabourin is down there on a conditioning stint. Sabourin was scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in the AHL before returning Tuesday.
|Doug Weight (1) ASST: Jeff Woywitka (1), Lee Stempniak (6)|
1 - 0 STL
|Brendan Morrison (4) ASST: Matt Cooke (3), Mattias Ohlund (7)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Markus Naslund (8) ASST: Henrik Sedin (17), Mattias Ohlund (8)|
2 - 1 VAN
|Markus Naslund (9) ASST: Henrik Sedin (18), Daniel Sedin (12)|
3 - 1 VAN
|PPG - Keith Tkachuk (6) ASST: Doug Weight (10), Martin Rucinsky (8)|
3 - 2 VAN
|Ryan Kesler (2) ASST: Alexandre Burrows (5)|
4 - 2 VAN
|Keith Tkachuk Fighting (maj)|
|Ryan Kesler Fighting (maj)|
|Dennis Wideman Holding|
|Taylor Pyatt Roughing|
|Dennis Wideman Hooking|
|Eric Brewer Hooking|
|Taylor Pyatt Holding|
|Brendan Morrison Tripping|
|Jason Bacashihua Delay of game|
|Kevin Bieksa Holding|
|SA: 44||TOI: 59:06|
|Saves: 40||EV: 32 - 36|
|PIM: 2||PP: 7 - 7|
|SV%: .909||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 21||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 19||EV: 15 - 16|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .905||SH: 0 - 0|