The Vancouver Canucks defeated the St. Louis Blues on Aug. 12 in Game 1 in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last time both teams faced off in the playoffs was in 2009 when the Canucks swept the Blues in four games during the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Here is the recap of Game 1 between the Canucks and Blues.
The Blues had a good start to this game outshooting the Canucks 3-1 before Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored on the team’s first power play. The Canucks used Horvat’s goal to build momentum throughout most of the period. However, the Blues are the defending champions for a reason. They started to take the game into their hands and started to get scoring chances of their own. And, it paid off when Blues forward David Perron scored to tie the game on the Blues’ first power play.
The game was tied at one heading into the second period.
This period saw both teams go back and forth offensively and it was a matter of which team would break the tie. Canucks forward Elias Pettersson decided he wanted to break it by scoring on yet another Canucks power play. However, the Blues struck back and forward Jaden Schwartz tied the game once again 1:12 after Pettersson’s goal. Pettersson also had a chance to score on another Canucks’ power play but the puck rang off the crossbar.
The game was tied at two heading into the third period.
Again, this game was anybody’s to grab but the Canucks maybe wanted to repeat history. The Canucks would score three unanswered goals throughout the period despite being outshot 9-5. Canucks forward Troy Stecher started the scoring to give his team the lead once again. Stecher also dedicated his goal to his father who passed away this past June. 2:24 seconds, Horvat scored again to extend the lead to two. Even though the Canucks were on a roll, the Blues had a great chance to get the game closer but Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom saved a goal. The puck went off his left pad onto the back of defenseman Alex Edler’s left shin pad. To finish the scoring barrage, Canucks forward J.T. Miller scored on yet another power play to extend the lead to three.
Vancouver won the game 5-2 and took the series lead 1-0.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Jacob Markstrom (29 saves)
Second Star: Bo Horvat (2 goals)
First Star: Troy Stecher (1 goal)
The Canucks are another team that shouldn’t be slept on given that they went 3-for-6 on the power play during this game. They’re not the quickest team but they can certainly play physical and get pucks to the net at will. And, they did all this while only holding the defending champions to only two goals despite being outshot 31-22.
On the other hand, the Blues continue to show signs of struggle as they have yet to win a game since the NHL returned to play. The Blues are also one of the better checking teams in the league but they can’t depend on that aspect of their game to win. Though, their game against the Vegas Golden Knights during the round robin portion of the qualifying round proved that they’re willing to play rough. It just wasn’t enough to win the game as they lost 6-4 against the Golden Knights.
Game 2 of the Canucks-Blues series is on Aug. 14 at 6:30 pm EST.