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game recap

Blues defeat Canucks, fail to win Central

Will play Jets in Western Conference First Round series

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

O'Reilly's phenomenal SO goal

VAN@STL: O'Reilly roofs pretty backhand goal in SO

Ryan O'Reilly uses some great stick moves and then roofs a backhander over Thatcher Demko to put the Blues ahead in the shootout

  • 00:30 •

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues failed to win the Central Division after a 3-2 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks at Enterprise Center on Saturday.

The Blues (45-28-9) finished one point behind the Nashville Predators, who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2, and will play the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blues won their final seven home games and 14 of their final 16.


[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Blues highlights]


"Anything can happen," Blues forward Brayden Schenn said. "We're looking forward to watching, but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter who you play. The league's so tight and teams are so good, but hopefully we'll end up with some home-ice advantage."

Video: VAN@STL: Binnington stops Boeser to seal SO win

Jordan Binnington made 23 saves to finish the season with a Blues rookie record 24 wins. Binnington, who made his first NHL start on Jan. 7 was 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and five shutouts this season. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, which went 9-1-2 in its final 12 regular-season games.

"That's pretty awesome (to be in first place)," Binnington said. "It's been a good second half so hopefully we can keep building off that and prepare for the playoffs.

"I'm very humbled and it's been a lot of fun being part of this team and this League is incredible. It's been a great experience for me so far and I'm excited for what's to come."

Video: VAN@STL: Pearson scores PPG on end-to-end rush

Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron scored in the shootout, and Binnington made saves on Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.

Thatcher Demko made 36 saves for the Canucks (35-36-11), who failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth straight season.

"It was good to battle back," Demko said. "They're a team fighting for the playoffs. We knew they were going to come out hard. I thought we got our legs in the third, a couple power-play goals, get it to overtime, kill off a big penalty and the shootout is sort of a coin flip."

Tarasenko scored a power-play goal at 10:29 of the third period to give the Blues a 2-1 lead before Pettersson scored on the power play at 17:51 to tie the game 2-2.

Video: VAN@STL: Schenn beats Demko five-hole in 1st

Schenn scored to give the Blues a 1-0 lead at 11:50 of the first period on a cross-ice pass from Tarasenko.

"I think we're reading off each other pretty good right now, finding each other, getting chances, shots on goal," Schenn said of his line with Tarasenko and O'Reilly. "We're obviously going to get a tough matchup in the playoffs. We've got to keep on working and working for our chances."

Tanner Pearson tied the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 3:53 of the third period.


They said it

"We want to be a team that competes hard and doesn't give up and they did it again today. ... We talked at the beginning of the year about developing and winning, trying to play a fast, aggressive style. We've made some improvements this year while adding some young players, which isn't always easy." -- Canucks coach Travis Green

"Very proud. Where we were and where we are now, those guys deserve a ton of credit for the turnaround. They did a great job. Great leadership from our leaders. A lot of character in our dressing room, and it came through. Did a good job, everybody. We needed everybody and everybody helped." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

"We'll see what happens during the rest of the day, but as a whole we're happy with where we came from and how we were able to find our game and the biggest part was chemistry and fine tuning our group mojo and where we wanted to be. It got extremely important for us to turn it around and I think it showed in the way that we played." -- Blues forward Alexander Steen


Need to know

Pearson finished the season with four goals in his final three games. ... Demko got his first NHL assist on Pearson's goal. ... Blues center Tyler Bozak was held out as a precaution after he was in a car accident on the way to the game. ... Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (mid-body) missed his second straight game after playing the first 80 but Berube said he expects him to return for the playoffs.


What's next

Canucks: Season over

Blues: Game 1 of Western Conference First Round (TBD)

Video: Blues top Canucks in shootout, 3-2

View More

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