Canucks blow lead, but edge Blues in shootout

Kevin Woodley  - Correspondent | Monday, 03.02.2015 / 2:00 AM

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack had given up three goals in seven minutes and blown a three-goal lead in the third period. The St. Louis Blues rang two shots off the posts behind him in overtime. And then, Lack was staring down T.J. Oshie in the shootout.

Lack stayed with Oshie through a couple of hard fakes, finally throwing out the left pad to deny the Blues forward in tight. It was the only save of the shootout, and it was enough to give the Canucks a wild 6-5 win at Rogers Arena on Sunday.

"I'm just thinking this is my chance," Lack said. "This is probably the best shootout guy in the world, he's got like eight or nine moves, so I was just pumping myself up, like, 'This is your moment.'"

The appeared to be a lot of defining moments between the Blues and Canucks, but each one was answered as they took turns coughing up leads. Forward Chris Higgins finally gave the Canucks a lead they couldn't relinquish, scoring in third round of the shootout after Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata also beat Jake Allen.

"It's not what we wanted, blow a three-goal lead in the third, but some resiliency there," Bonino said. "We battled back and got two points."

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock was impressed his team did the same to earn one point after falling behind 5-2 early in the third period.

"A lesser team would have folded it up," Hitchcock said, "but we came back and pounded on it hard in the third period and then should have won it in overtime with the two we drilled by him and hit the post. We played a whale of a hockey game. We did a heck of a job."

Ryan Reaves and Alex Pietrangelo staked the Blues to an early lead despite playing the night before, but it didn't last long; the Canucks scored five straight before collapsing themselves in the third period.

Shawn Matthias and Yannick Weber started the comeback in the first period, Jannik Hansen and Henrik Sedin put the Canucks ahead in the second and Bonino made it 5-2 six minutes into the third.

"That's one of the top teams. We knew they wouldn't go away," Bonino said. "It was a battle all night and we knew it wasn't over."

Dmitrij Jaskin started the comeback with a power-play goal 8:18 into the third period, and Petteri Lindholm and David Backes scored 1:12 apart with five minutes left to help the Blues rally late.

"It was time to either put up or shut up," Backes said. "We had some great plays by some guys to find open bodies and then to finish in the back of the net. Not goals that are necessarily highlights but effective, hardnosed plays. We should a lot of character battling back."

It wasn't an easy night to be a goaltender.

Allen gave up four goals on 21 shots through two periods before being pulled in favor of No. 1 Brian Elliott to start the third period. But Elliott, who backstopped a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, left again after Bonino's goal.

After coming out for a brief conversation with Hitchcock behind the bench, Elliott spent the rest of the game back in the dressing room.

Hitchcock insisted it was his decision.

"I was thinking, 'Now all I need to do is get him hurt,'" Hitchcock said. "I put (Elliott) in because I thought we had a great spirit going into the third period and we had a chance to win a hockey game."

Hitchcock also downplayed what appeared to be Elliott pushing the coach's hand away as he left the ice after being pulled.

"He was mad he was coming out," he said. "I told him, 'Just relax.'"

Allen returned and made another four saves, including a breakaway stop on Bo Horvat with 2:22 left. The Blues (40-18-5) pulled within four points of the Nashville Predators in the Central Division.

"I've never experienced that," Allen said of going back in. "Really weird, odd, felt a little uncomfortable and obviously I am usually pretty good in shootouts. I was just sort of mentally out of it a bit."

Lack finished with 34 saves in his third straight start since No. 1 Ryan Miller injured his right knee. Vancouver (36-23-3) moved five points ahead of the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.

"I was thinking to myself if the boys score five for me and we can't win, there is something wrong," Lack said. "It was a weird game and I kept battling and it's a very big win for us."

Reaves opened the scoring 3:02 into the game after a nice cycle by fellow fourth-liners Marcel Goc and Steve Ott, and Pietrangelo doubled the lead three minutes later off the rush.

Coming off a tough five-game road trip and still missing seven injured regulars, the Canucks got back into the game 85 seconds later when Matthias finished a 2-on-1 pass from Higgins for his 16th goal of the season. Weber tied it 2:16 later with a point shot through traffic.

Lack, who was beaten by two of the first five shots he faced, kept it tied with a head-first diving save off Jaden Schwartz, and Hansen gave Vancouver its first lead after Allen misplayed a sharp angle backhand into his own net midway through the second period.

It sounded like a whistle had blown before the puck finally trickled in over the goal line. Replays showed Allen knocked the puck into his own net. The officials huddled and determined the original shot crossed the line and video review supported that decision.

"Juggled it, kicked it into my net," Allen said. "That's a goal that should never go in in this League, not much more I can say. I thought the whistle was blown, but I didn't know where the puck was."

Henrik Sedin knocked in a rebound to make it 4-2 with 2:08 left in the period, but two minutes after Bonino scored the fifth goal, Jaskin started the comeback into an empty net on a power play. Lindholm kept it going after a nice passing play off the rush by Vladimir Tarasenko and Schwartz. Backes tied it after a nice pass from behind the net from Oshie, who had three assists, jamming the puck past Lack.

"Our leaders led and then when things were not going well they pulled more guys into the fight," Hitchcock said. "They didn't let people leave the battlefield, which was really impressive. They kept playing and more guys got dragged in and we seemed to get a second wind."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:02STL Ryan Reaves (6) ASST: Steve Ott (8), Marcel Goc (6) 1 - 0 STL
05:59STL Alex Pietrangelo (6) ASST: T.J. Oshie (25), David Backes (22) 2 - 0 STL
07:24VAN Shawn Matthias (16) ASST: Chris Higgins (20), Linden Vey (13) 2 - 1 STL
09:40VAN Yannick Weber (6) ASST: Radim Vrbata (21), Derek Dorsett (13) 2 - 2 Tie
2nd Period
10:15VAN Jannik Hansen (13) ASST: Ronalds Kenins (6), Ryan Stanton (8) 3 - 2 VAN
17:52VAN Henrik Sedin (13) ASST: Dan Hamhuis (15), Ronalds Kenins (7) 4 - 2 VAN
3rd Period
06:07VAN Nick Bonino (12) ASST: Yannick Weber (8), Radim Vrbata (22) 5 - 2 VAN
08:18STL PPG - Dmitrij Jaskin (11) ASST: Paul Stastny (25), T.J. Oshie (26) 5 - 3 VAN
14:19STL Petteri Lindbohm (2) ASST: Jaden Schwartz (27), Vladimir Tarasenko (30) 5 - 4 VAN
15:31STL David Backes (21) ASST: T.J. Oshie (27) 5 - 5 Tie
OT Period
1VANNick Bonino - Goal
2STLT.J. Oshie - Save
3VANRadim Vrbata - Goal
4STLVladimir Tarasenko - Goal
5VANChris Higgins - Goal
Shootout Summary
RNDVancouver CanucksSt. Louis Blues
1Nick BoninoT.J. Oshie
2Radim VrbataVladimir Tarasenko
3Chris Higgins
Three Stars of the Game
Yannick Weber
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 3TOI: 22:58
T.J. Oshie
G: 0Shots: 2
A: 3Hits: 5
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 21:37
Chris Higgins
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 13:24
Penalty Summary
1st Period
15:31STL Paul Stastny  Tripping against  Henrik Sedin
19:35VAN Dan Hamhuis  Roughing against  Alex Pietrangelo
19:35STL Alex Pietrangelo  Slashing against  Dan Hamhuis
2nd Period
03:06STL Ryan Reaves  Roughing against  Zack Kassian
03:06VAN Zack Kassian  Misconduct (10 min) against  Ryan Reaves
03:06VAN Zack Kassian  Roughing against  Ryan Reaves
03:06STL Ryan Reaves  Misconduct (10 min)
03:06STL Steve Ott  Cross checking against  Daniel Sedin
12:33VAN Linden Vey  Hi-sticking against  Barret Jackman
19:04VAN Yannick Weber  Cross checking against  Dmitrij Jaskin
3rd Period
07:26VAN Adam Clendening  Hooking against  T.J. Oshie
11:01VAN Dan Hamhuis  Holding against  Alexander Steen
11:36STL Jori Lehtera  Interference against  Ryan Stanton
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/40/3
Faceoff Wins3727
Blocked Shots1317
Penalty Minutes2022
4C. GunnarssonD0000023:06
5B. JackmanD00-12016:17
9S. OttC011126:44
12J. LehteraC00-31216:00
17J. SchwartzL01-34018:25
19J. BouwmeesterD0000022:50
20A. SteenL0023022:47
21P. BerglundC00-12015:37
23D. JaskinR10-17016:49
26P. StastnyC0103220:51
27A. PietrangeloD1002226:45
28I. ColeD00-11013:05
42D. BackesC1112022:02
48P. LindbohmD1002020:00
57M. GocC011206:43
74T. OshieR03-12021:37
75R. ReavesR1012124:34
91V. TarasenkoR0103017:51
1B. Elliott56.8336:14
34J. Allen2125.84058:43
2D. HamhuisD0131425:13
5L. SbisaD00-22025:56
6Y. WeberD1132222:58
7L. VeyR010229:14
9Z. KassianR00001212:06
13N. BoninoC1001019:13
17R. VrbataR0203017:16
18R. StantonD0111017:22
20C. HigginsL0101013:24
22D. SedinL00-10021:20
27S. MatthiasC1003012:19
33H. SedinC1004021:34
36J. HansenR1014016:10
41R. KeninsL0220013:05
44A. ClendeningD00-20217:46
51D. DorsettR0100013:19
53B. HorvatC0014014:07
55A. BiegaD00-13018:46
31E. Lack3439.87265:00