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game recap

Blues defeat Canucks to keep pace in West

St. Louis, tied for third in Central, gains in wild-card race

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues kept pace in the Central Division and Western Conference playoff races with a 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at Scottrade Center.

The Blues (40-28-5) won their fourth straight and ninth in 10 games. St. Louis is tied with the Nashville Predators for third place in the division and trail the Calgary Flames by one point for the first Western wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nashville defeated Calgary 3-1.

"We'll figure out what happens after 82 [games] and go from there," Blues goalie Jake Allen said. "We've got a good thing going and hopefully we can keep it going. ... Once 82 is done April 9, we'll see where we are."

 

WATCH: All Canucks vs. Blues highlights

 

Magnus Paajarvi scored twice, Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist, and Kyle Brodziak scored. Allen made 27 saves and is 7-1-0 in his past eight starts after losing four in a row.

"We need a lot of guys to step up, and obviously we got that from Jake, we got that from some of our top guys, and then you look at what [Paajarvi] did and other guys did as far as raising their game, and getting the goals is part of it," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "... I thought we had a collective group effort that guys were ready to step up tonight."

Henrik Sedin scored, and Ryan Miller made 30 saves for the Canucks (29-35-9), who played the third of a five-game road trip. Vancouver trails St. Louis and Nashville by 18 points for a Western wild card.

"I thought we played OK," Sedin said. "We didn't play our best game. They've got a good team and [are] playing well right now. Going into the third being down one, that's a good spot to be on the road."

Video: VAN@STL: Paajarvi nets second off Berglund's dish

The Canucks took a 1-0 lead when Sedin scored 13:38 into the first period. Paajarvi tied it 1-1, following his shot after a Miller save at 17:32.

Brodziak gave the Blues a 2-1 lead with a wrist shot high-blocker-side from the high slot at 17:13 of the second period.

Paajarvi's second, his eighth of the season, put the Blues up 3-1 at 9:41 of the third period. The Canucks challenged for offside but the goal was upheld.

Pietrangelo made it 4-1 with an empty-net goal at 17:25.

 

Goal of the game

Pietrangelo picked off Christopher Tanev's stretch pass, carried it into the Canucks zone and dropped it to Brodziak, who beat Miller with a pinpoint shot in the top left-hand corner.

Video: VAN@STL: Brodziak whips a wrister past Miller

 

Save of the game

Miller was able to go from left to right to make a breakaway save on David Perron with 7:35 remaining in the first period.

 

Highlight of the game

Blues forward Ivan Barbashev kept in Alexander Edler's clearing attempt at the blue line, and Nail Yakupov was able to get the puck to Barbashev, who passed to Paajarvi in the slot from distance.

"Great play by them," Paajarvi said. "[Yakupov] kicked it out of the air and [Barbashev] made a great play to me. Took two shots to beat [Miller], but yeah."

Video: VAN@STL: Paajarvi tallies on his own rebound

 

Unsung performance of the game

Barbashev played 10:17, had an assist on Paajarvi's goal, and set up Zach Sanford with a pass from the left boards for a one-timer in the slot that Miller saved. Barbashev was plus-1 and won eight of 11 faceoffs.

 

They said it

"We're finding ways to win. We're going to need more of that this time of year. We're not really looking at the streaks that we're on. We're just kind of playing every game taking it day by day." -- Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo

 

Need to know

The Blues played without center Paul Stastny, who is week to week after sustaining a lower-body injury Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche. ... Paajarvi's two-goal game was his second in the NHL (Feb. 5, 2011 for the Edmonton Oilers). ... Canucks center Bo Horvat won 67 percent of his faceoffs (16 of 24).

 

What's next

Canucks: At the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SNP, NHL.TV)

Blues: Host the Calgary Flames on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Video: Paajarvi scores two goals as Blues down Canucks, 4-1

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