The Vancouver Canucks eliminated the St. Louis Blues on Aug. 21 in six games. With St. Louis eliminated, there will be a new Stanley Cup champion this postseason. The Canucks won Games 1, 2, 5 and 6 while the Blues won Games 3 and 4. Here now are the recaps of Games 4, 5 and 6 between the Canucks and Blues.
Game 4: The Blues wanted to avoid being down three games in this series. This was probably their best start to any of the games at this point of the series. The Blues would also get a goal late in the period from forward Ryan O’Reilly on the power play.
St. Louis went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
Game 5: The Canucks were looking to win this game in order to eliminate the Blues in Game 6. And, they were determined. Canucks forward Tyler Motte scored shorthanded 13:15 into the game. However, the Blues aren’t the defending champions for no reason. O’Reilly and Blues forward Brayden Schenn scored twice 3:50 apart to take a one goal lead.
St. Louis went into the second period with a 2-1 lead.
Game 6: The Blues were in the midst of being eliminated after winning the Cup last year. And, the Canucks showed them no mercy as they scored an early goal from forward Jay Beagle. From there, the Canucks would continue building on their momentum. However, the Blues made a push just during the midway point of the period but couldn’t find a goal.
Vancouver went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
Game 4: The Canucks wanted to take the chance to dethrone the defending champions this game as they scored an early goal to start the period. Canucks forward J.T. Miller tied the game just 40 seconds into the period. But, the Blues would score two more goals to regain their lead. They also controlled this period despite giving up the early Canucks goal. O’Reilly and Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo scored 8:55 apart from one another.
St. Louis went into the third period with a 3-1 lead.
Game 5: The Blues would carry their momentum from last period into this one as forward Zach Sanford extended his team’s lead to two. But, the Canucks wouldn’t be denied and wanted to take the series lead. The Canucks scored three unanswered goals during the second half of the period. Miller, Motte and Canucks forward Jake Virtanen scored a goal in 6:23 apart from each other to regain the lead again.
Vancouver went into the third period with a 4-3 lead.
Game 6: Again, the Canucks showed no mercy towards the Blues as they scored three unanswered goals once again during this series. And, all three goals came just before the ten minute mark of the game. Canucks forwards Antoine Roussel, Troy Stetcher and Brock Boeser all scored to extend their team’s lead to four. At that point, Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was pulled out of his net for the second time during this series. Goaltender Jake Allen would come back into the net for the Blues.
Vancouver went into the third period with a 4-0 lead.
Game 4: No goals were scored but both teams played more defensively in this period than the last two only giving up seven shots on goal on both sides. In the end, the Blues would climb back in this series and tie it two games a piece.
St. Louis won the game 3-1 and tied the series 2-2.
Game 5: No goals were scored but there was a definite momentum shift from the first half of this period to the second half. The Blues almost forced the game to overtime in the last seconds of the period but the puck crossed the line after time expired.
Vancouver won the game 4-3 and took the series lead 3-2.
Game 6: Down 4-0, the Blues were looking for a miracle during this period. Blues forward Jaden Schwartz scored twice during this period. And, those two goals would be the only goals for the Blues this entire game. Motte also scored two goals this period which helped secure the series win for the Canucks. Even though the Blues outshot the Canucks 13-4 during this period, the Canucks would finally dethrone the defending champions and move on to the second round.
Vancouver won the game 6-2 and the series 4-2.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Jacob Markstrom (34 saves)
Second Star: Alex Pietrangelo (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Ryan O’Reilly (2 goals, 1 assist)
Third Star: Jacob Markstrom (36 saves)
Second Star: J.T. Miller (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Tyler Motte (2 goals)
Third Star: Jaden Schwartz (2 goals)
Second Star: Jacob Markstrom (34 saves)
First Star: Tyler Motte (2 goals)
Vancouver played it’s best hockey since their last Stanley Cup run nine years ago. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom continued to improve as the postseason rolled along and is probably Vancouver’s best player thus far. The same could be said for captain Bo Horvat. He leads the team in goals with six and into the second round. This Vancouver team could be dangerous as they face their next opponent, the top seeded Vegas Golden Knights. They would have to continue playing this style of play if they want to make another upset.
On the other hand, St. Louis just didn’t look the same. They weren’t the same team as last year in terms of performance. St. Louis didn’t really establish their defensive presence during this series even in their two wins. Whether or not being in the bubble affected their play is up for debate but they just didn’t seem into any of their games in both the round robin and this series.
Binnington’s performance was also off throughout his time in the bubble. He was chased out of the net twice in this series and didn’t get a win for the Blues in this series. All the Blues wins came from Allen being in net.
Vancouver will face the Golden Knights in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That series will begin on Aug. 23 at 10:30 p.m. EST.