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

Langley Township Civic Facility. (Langley Advance Times files)
Housing, RCMP, Fort roads all discussed at Langley Township budget meeting

A Monday meeting touched on priorities for this year and beyond

When the pandemic forced the shut down of playgrounds in Langley this past Spring it sparked creativity for these Langley grandparents Herb and Cherri Kwan, who found themselves picking up a paint brush to help keep the local kids occupied. (Bernadette Amiscaray/Special to Langley Advance Times)
PHOTOS: Pandemic park closures spark artistic rock creations for retired Langley grandparents

Herb and Cherri Kwan started hiding painted rocks in Routley Park when playground closed

Shortreed Community Elementary. (Langley School District/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Parent Advisory Council raises concerns over Langley school district power outage response

Fifteen teachers at Shortreed Community School in Aldergrove staged a sit-in strike last Wednesday

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

Langley City Library (pictured) could be joined by another FVRL branch in Willoughby, as Township is set to hear from senior staff about ideas for a future site. (Langley Advance Times files)
Discussion on new Willoughby library starts in February

Township council will hear from staff on ideas for the first new library branch in years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

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

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read