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26 SOG
31 SOG
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game recap

Canucks 2, Blues 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM

Associated Press

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Canucks 2, Blues 1
St. Louis Blues 1, Vancouver Canucks 2

 

PIC OF THE GAME
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -Special teams were supposed to favor the St. Louis Blues in their first-round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.

It certainly didn't help them in the opening game Wednesday night.

Daniel Sedin scored the first goal on a delayed penalty and set up Sami Salo's power-play marker, and Roberto Luongo made the best of his 25 saves while killing off a 5-on-3 to help the Canucks beat the Blues 2-1.

"That's a dangerous offensive team, and we took too many penalties tonight and it's going to hurt us if we keep doing it that," Sedin said.

It didn't in the Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series, as the Canucks killed off the first six St. Louis power plays. Brad Boyes finally scored on the seventh power play with 1:44 left in the second period to pull the Blues within a goal. But that was a lone bright spot for St. Louis special teams that were supposed to be an advantage in the quarterfinal series.

Inside the Game

"Our power play has been very good for us all year so we're counting on it," said Blues forward Andy McDonald, who was robbed by Luongo on the 5-on-3 midway through the first period. "We'll make some adjustments.

Vancouver, 14-1-1 at home since Feb. 1, hosts Game 2 of Friday night.

The Blues came in with a top-10 power play, and the NHL's third-best penalty killing in the regular season. But the Canucks, middle of the pack in both categories, converted one of six power plays while stopping six of seven.

"I don't think we can be in the box six, seven times in the game, we all know that," said Luongo. "They are a good special teams team and we talked about that, so I expect us to be a little less penalized next game."

Sedin opened the scoring midway through the first period after drawing a penalty on a rush at the end of a Blues power play that managed just one shot. Before St. Louis could touch the puck, Sedin parked in the slot and redirected Pavol Demitra's slap pass from the boards between Chris Mason's legs.

The Blues went up two men a short while later after Salo slashed Boyes' stick in half just 19 seconds after Mattias Ohlund was called for interference.

Luongo, who finished the regular season with consecutive shutouts, picked up where he left off to start the playoffs, making his best save during a lengthy 5-on-3 midway through the first period. With the Blues up two men for 1:42, Luongo threw out the left pad to deny McDonald on a backdoor tap-in.

Roberto Luongo
A solid 25 saves in a 2-1 victory in Game #1 - his best coming on a long two-man advanatge.
 
Andy McDonald
Just the one assist, but the speedy forward played a surprisingly gritty game.
 
Ryan Kesler
Pretty much did it all for the Canucks Wednesday. Didn't get on the scoresheet but was a clear star pick.
 

"I know they like to look for McDonald on the backdoor, so I was able to see the pass last second and slide across and get my pad there," Luongo said.

The Blues only managed one more shot before captain Keith Tkachuk's roughing penalty reduced the advantage to 4-on-3 with 3 seconds left on the 5-on-3.

"I didn't get it up," said McDonald, also denied by the left pad on a later power play. "He did a good job getting over but I have to get that puck up."

After St. Louis failed to convert another advantage to start the second period, Salo doubled the lead on a power play 5:11 into the period. Henrik Sedin lost his stick in the corner, but kicked the puck to his twin behind the net, and Daniel Sedin's backhand pass to Salo at the point was wired in through a screen.

St. Louis coach Andy Murray shook up his forward lines in the second period, and while it created more Canucks penalties, the Blues' power play couldn't convert.

"This game was about encouragement rather than discouragement," Murray said. "The first 40 minutes we had multiple opportunities and our power play couldn't take advantage. But you get power plays because you forecheck and play hard."

After two more failed advantages, Boyes finally put the Blues on the board with Henrik Sedin serving a hooking penalty taken behind the St. Louis net. Luongo kicked Alex Steen's screen shot off the right boards right to Boyes, who was unchecked at the far faceoff circle, and he snapped the puck into an empty net.

Mason, who came into the playoffs just as hot as Luongo, finished with 29 saves, most coming as the Canucks outshot the Blues 15-6 in the third period.

"They defended the lead pretty good by putting pressure on us," Mason said. "They have a lot of big forwards and they do a good job of going to the net and making it tough. That's a big thing in playoff hockey and I think we have to take a page out of their book and try and do that a little more, too, to Louie."

Quotes:

“Definitely nerves and excitement - I think everybody excited to be playing right now - it’s a great time of year. So that’s part of the game and for some, I know like myself, that elevates my game when there’s those nerves.” - Roberto Luongo

“We were expecting it: We prepared ourselves for those kind of emotion and that kind of atmosphere in this building. It was great to see. I think the fans were right into it. I think we responded pretty good, got that first goal, and overall we played pretty solid." - Alex Burrows

“You’re going to see a lot of one goal games in the playoffs and that’s the way we’ve been playing the last couple games of the season, so it’s good to see we carried it over." - Ryan Kesler

Notes:

The young Blues only dressed eight players with previous playoff experience, while the Canucks had 16. Canucks LW Taylor Pyatt hasn't rejoined the team since fiancee Carly Bragnalo was killed in a car crash April 3 while vacationing with family in Jamaica. Bragnalo's funeral was Tuesday in Thunder Bay, Ontario. ... St. Louis forward Paul Kariya, who had surgery on both hips after recording 15 points in his first 11 games, is rehabbing in Vail, Colo., where the surgeries were performed, and could be cleared to return within the week.

scoring summary
1st Period
10:03
VAN
Daniel Sedin (1) Snap shot - ASST: Pavol Demitra (1), Alexander Edler (1)
1 - 0 VAN
2nd Period
05:11
VAN
PPG - Sami Salo (1) Slapshot - ASST: Daniel Sedin (1), Henrik Sedin (1)
2 - 0 VAN
18:16
STL
PPG - Brad Boyes (1) Snap shot - ASST: Alexander Steen (1), Andy McDonald (1)
2 - 1 VAN
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
07:37
VAN
Alexander Edler  Elbowing against  Jay McClement
11:44
VAN
Mattias Ohlund  Interference against  Keith Tkachuk
12:03
VAN
Sami Salo  Slashing against  Brad Boyes
13:42
STL
Keith Tkachuk  Roughing against  Willie Mitchell
16:24
STL
David Perron  Tripping against  Mason Raymond
20:00
STL
Brad Winchester  Misconduct (10 min) against  Darcy Hordichuk
20:00
VAN
Ryan Johnson  Roughing against  Dan Hinote
20:00
VAN
Darcy Hordichuk  Misconduct (10 min) against  Brad Winchester
2nd Period
03:19
STL
Jay McKee  Interference against  Steve Bernier
05:40
STL
Jay McKee  Tripping against  Ryan Johnson
08:45
VAN
Mattias Ohlund  Interference against  Mike Weaver
13:57
VAN
Rick Rypien  Charging against  Jay McKee
15:52
STL
Patrik Berglund  Hooking against  Daniel Sedin
16:43
VAN
Henrik Sedin  Hooking against  Barret Jackman
3rd Period
02:29
STL
T.J. Oshie  Roughing against  Alexandre Burrows
02:29
VAN
Alexandre Burrows  Roughing against  T.J. Oshie
11:17
STL
David Perron  Hooking against  Alexandre Burrows
goalie stats
Chris Mason
Chris Mason
SA: 31TOI: 58:55
Saves: 29EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .935SH: 1 - 1
Roberto Luongo
SA: 26TOI: 59:51
Saves: 25EV: 13 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .962SH: 4 - 4