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Game 13: Character win

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks may not have turned in their most polished performance on Friday night against the Blues but as far as character-building is concerned it was arguably their finest game of the season.

Despite playing their second game in as many days and missing five regulars from their lineup, the Canucks managed to pull out a 3-2 overtime win at the Scottrade Center thanks in large part to a two-goal effort from Ryan Kesler and a sensational performance by netminder Eddie Lack in his third career NHL start.

Kesler's second goal, which came on the power play with just 14.7 seconds remaining in the overtime session, lifted the Canucks to their third straight victory and helped them conclude their seven-game road trip with an impressive 5-1-1 record.

Vancouver, playing without injured forwards Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen, Jordan Schroeder, David Booth and Dale Weise, looked to be in tough facing a well-rested Blues team that hadn't played since last Friday but it was St. Louis that looked to be half-asleep to start the game.

Chris Higgins and Kesler staked the Canucks out to a 2-0 lead by the midway mark of the game but the Blues managed to get back into it thanks to a late 5-on-3 power play goal in the second period by Alex Steen.

Vladimir Sobotka evened things up for the Blues less than two minutes into the third period.

The Canucks might not have even made it to the overtime session had it not been for the efforts of their netminder, Lack, who made 22 saves on 24 shots to earn his second career victory.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 18 of 21 shots in the loss for the Blues.

The Canucks get a couple of days off to recuperate from their long road trip before hosting Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Monday night at Rogers Arena.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: For a while it appeared that Henrik Sedin's lengthy point streak was about to come to an end but he managed to extend it to eight games (3-7-10) after picking up the second assist on Kesler's overtime marker. Henrik now has 16 points in 13 games played this month tying his best-ever production in the month of October. He has two more games this month to try and make this month the most productive October of his career.

FIRST TIMERS: Pascal Pelletier and Darren Archibald made their respective Canucks' debuts in this game. For Archibald, it was also his first career NHL game. The two spent the night skating mostly together on a line flanked by defenceman-turned-forward Yannick Weber. Both had just over eight minutes of ice-time. Archibald is the third rookie to suit up for the Canucks this season joining Ryan Stanton and Jeremy Welsh.

WRONG KIND OF STREAK: With Steen's 5-on-3 goal, the Canucks have now surrendered power play goals in three consecutive outings for the first time since they started last season with a similar three-game streak with power play goals allowed in each outing. Vancouver has allowed four power plays on nine times shorthanded over their last three contests (55.6 percent kill rate).

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