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game recap

Markstrom makes 29 saves, Canucks defeat Blues

Horvat has goal, assist for Vancouver, which has point in seven of past eight

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves for the Vancouver Canucks in his sixth straight win, 5-1 against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen each had a goal and an assist, and Alexander Edler had two assists for Vancouver (17-17-4), which is 6-1-1 in its past eight games after going 1-10-2 in its previous 13.

"We've still got work to do to be where we want to be, but it's a really good stretch for us right now for sure," said Markstrom, who has a .942 save percentage during his win streak.


[WATCH: All Blues vs. Canucks highlights]


Vladimir Tarasenko scored, and Jake Allen made 24 saves for St. Louis (13-16-4), which has lost two of its past three games.

"We played a really good first period, got pucks to the net, got pucks in deep and generated a lot of shots, and their goalie made some huge saves and we missed some opportunities," Blues forward Tyler Bozak said. "And in the second we got away from it, tried to make too many plays, myself included, and turned it over." 

The Blues outshot the Canucks 15-5 in the first period, but Markstrom made several difficult saves. He slid to his left to rob Brayden Schenn on a one-timer off a cross-ice rebound and stopped Bozak twice in the final two minutes to keep the game scoreless. 

"It definitely wasn't the prettiest first from us by any means, but [Markstrom] came up huge for us and made some unbelievable saves," Horvat said. 

Vancouver had the first eight shots of the second period and scored on two of them.

"It's great that we came back out and got ready to play in the second period there, and I think that's when our game changed," Horvat said.

Video: STL@VAN: Horvat, Gaudette tally 28 seconds apart

Horvat converted a backdoor pass from Elias Pettersson at the left post on the power play to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead at 5:51.

"I saw him look at me and I was hoping he was going to give it to me," Horvat said. "It was obviously a great feed, threading the needle like that. It takes a special player to make a pass like that."

Adam Gaudette scored 28 seconds later to make it 2-0. After his initial shot off the rush was blocked by Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson, he collected the loose puck in the slot before jamming his rebound in the crease past Allen. Blues coach Craig Berube challenged for goalie interference, but the call was upheld after a video review.

"That's just the type of game I play," Gaudette said. "I'm pretty big on second and third efforts. The puck squirted loose and I thought I could get a stick on it, so I just kept hacking at it."

Josh Leivo banked a shot in off Allen's back from below the goal line to make it 3-0 at 2:08 of the third period.

"It's tough, but I thought the guys still responded and went after it again and got some pretty good looks, but we just couldn't find the back of the net," Berube said.

Video: STL@VAN: Leivo tallies goal off of Allen's back

Taransenko cut it to 3-1 at 6:23 of the third period, but Virtanen scored his career-high 11th goal on a point shot through traffic to make it 4-1 at 11:24.

Loui Eriksson made it 5-1 with an empty-net goal at 15:24.

They said it

"Couldn't find the back of the net enough. Their goalie kept them in the first period, made some big saves for them, and it was a different game if we get a goal." -- Blues coach Craig Berube


"He's sharp right now, you can tell. He looks fresher. He just looks sharp." -- Canucks coach Travis Green on Jacob Markstrom

Need to know

Tarasekno has scored in consecutive games after not recording a point in the previous seven. … Horvat has six points (three goals, three assists) in the past five games. … Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher missed the game after sustaining a concussion in a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. 

What's next

Blues: At the Calgary Flames on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN360, SNP, NHL.TV)

Video: Virtanen, Horvat, Edler pace Canucks to 5-1 victory

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