The Canucks improved their series lead to 3-0 with a 3-2 win over the Blues in front of a sold-out St. Louis crowd on Sunday night. Notably absent from the lineup was Swedish centre Mats Sundin, who sat out with a lower body injury.
Sundin is listed as day to day and did not practice with the team today in St. Louis. It is not yet known if he will play in Tuesday’s Game #4.
"Guys wanted to bear down and get the win," said Alex Burrows. "Having Mats out, we knew it wasn't going to be easy and we really controlled that half wall with Kes. And with Mats out, it gave Ohlie a chance to be on point and get a power-play shot through."Jannik Hansen
slotted into the lineup in Sundin’s place, playing his first playoff game this year.
“It’s a matter of getting mentally ready for playing that style of hockey and trying to get into the game as quick as possible,” said Hansen. “The first couple of shifts you feel it, but as the game goes on, you kind of get more comfortable. But it’s definitely up a couple of notches from the last time I played a game in the regular season.”
“[Hansen] was pretty nervous on his first couple of shifts and he didn’t play much, but I thought he got better as the game went on,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. GILLIS ON PYATT
Taylor Pyatt, who is with his family in Thunder Bay on a personal leave of absence, is expected to rejoin the Canucks in the near future.
“I haven’t spoken to him, Alain has and Ryan Johnson has spoken to him on a number of occasions,” said GM Mike Gillis. “We think Taylor is going to be back in Vancouver early this week. We’re hoping that we’ll see him on the ice when we get back. I think he realizes the support that everyone here has for him and we’re hoping that we can help him get through this.” From the Top: Mike GillisHUNGRY FOR SUCCESS
The Canucks are hungry for postseason success and it is evident in the elevated play of the team across the board.
"It's all about hunger with me now at this stage of my career and with a lot of guys on this team," said Salo. "All these years and I've never been past the second round. It would be nice to change that."Roberto Luongo
, a main component of the Canucks' victories, enjoyed a well-earned day off today, joined by a few other players including Sami Salo
, Daniel and Henrik Sedin
, and Ryan Kesler
, resting up before tomorrow’s big game in St. Louis.
The Canucks, who have never been up 3-0 in a 7-game series in franchise history, are showing no signs of slowing down. Only two teams, the 1942 Leafs and the 1975 Islanders, have ever battled back from an 0-3 series deficit.
Despite their lead, the Canucks are not taking their early success for granted as the Blues continue to fight for their playoff lives.
Vancouver’s dominant special teams were the difference maker in Game #3.
“We have a lot of guys who are passionate and knew how important this game was,” said Willie Mitchell after Game #3. “Those two 5-on-3 kills were our success tonight in a nutshell; we found a way to scratch and claw and get it done. We’ve got a lot of character and got a lot of guys who care about our team and feel good about our team. We’re doing what it takes to win.
— how many times did he get in front of a shot tonight? Steve Bernier’s been terrific. Ryan Johnson, terrific. Guys are elevating their games at important times. I had a front-row seat [in the penalty box for both 5-on-3’s Sunday night].”
The St. Louis power play was eighth in the NHL during the regular season and their penalty kill third. However proving the playoffs are a different beast, the Canucks have managed to kill 16-of-17 man advantages in this series, including three 5-on-3s.
"It was a huge difference tonight — the PK and PP," said Luongo.
"We got some big goals and we killed some big ones off. I don't know how many more 5-on-3s we can keep giving them in the series, but we did a great job with that.
"By no means can we think it's over. Those guys aren't going to quit."
Game #4 will take place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Tuesday night.THE PLAYOFF SHOW:
Watch The Playoff Show live Monday at 3 pm as Jeff Paterson and guest Dave Tomlinson break down news and notes from Sunday's game, deliver exclusive one-on-one interviews with players, and answer live fans questions. More