With Jayson Megna and Joseph Cramarossa out due to injury, Nikolay Goldobin and Joseph Labate found themselves back in the lineup tonight. Eyes were definitely on Goldobin to see how he’d fare after missing 6 games and losing 15 pounds due to a viral infection.
The Canucks had a chance to take the lead early when Alex Steen tripped Troy Stecher. Both units came out strong with some great passing plays to generate some chances. They may not have scored but were looking dangerous.
With play going back and forth after the power play opportunity, the Canucks were holding a slight advantage and leading in shots in the period.
Blues fans rose to their feet when Nikita Tryamkin lost the puck on the St Louis blue line and David Perron found himself on a breakaway. Fortunately, Ryan Miller was with him the whole way to keep the lead in hand.
The nicest of Miller's 12 saves so far. pic.twitter.com/PMePQXfUaQ— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 24, 2017
Minutes later, Henrik Sedin opened the scoring for the second game in a row after Alex Edler’s shot produced a prime rebound in front of the net.
With 2:28 left in the opening frame, Magnus Paajarvi found his way behind the Canucks defence and tied the game after following up his own rebound. This angle definitely shows you just HOW open he was.
The Canucks ended the first period shorthanded when Jack Skille was sent to the box for hooking. As soon as Vancouver successfully killed the penalty, they wasted no time in reasserting their offensive game.
The visiting Canucks continued to lead in shots as the period hit the halfway mark. This wouldn’t be worth noting if they hadn’t been absolutely dominated in this category lately.
Brandon Sutter had a handful of chances on net in the middle frame. Looking at how weak his shots were leaving his stick, you have to wonder how well his wrist is doing. Despite a two goal effort in Chicago, Sutter’s had an underwhelming season so far to say the least.
Nikita Tryamkin was sent to the box with nine minutes left in the second period. After Nail Yakupov landed a hit Drew Shore, Tryamkin came in to have a few words with him.
Ryan Miller made some massive saves in the ensuing power play, somehow stopping everything that came his way.
After returning to the ice, Nikita Tryamkin found the puck on his stick and did his best Sidney Crosby impression when he rushed up the ice and attempted a one handed back hand that rang off the post.
Tryamkin almost pulled a Crosby! pic.twitter.com/R9OEXhXRer— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 24, 2017
St Louis took a firm grip of the games momentum in the latter half of the period. The Canucks couldn’t find a way to keep the Blues out of their end of the ice and their lead in the shot department quickly vanished as they found themselves playing on their heels.
After Chris Tanev failed to get the puck deep on a line change, Kyle Brodziak found himself with the puck on his stick and all the time in the world to beat Ryan Miller with a rocket of a shot.
The Canucks made a few efforts to even it up in the second period but couldn’t find a way to beat Jake Allen. With Robert Bortuzzo going to the penalty box in the final minute, they were left hoping to get another goal in the third.
Daniel Sedin almost made the most out of the man advantage but failed to find the back of the empty net in the first minute of the period. With David Perron in the box shortly after, the Canucks had another shot at tying the game but couldn’t find a way to best Jake Allen.
The Blues came back swinging once they were back to even strength. Ryan Miller was tested again and again as St Louis put their foot on the gas and didn’t let up.
Reid Boucher and Bo Horvat had a chance after some creative stretch passes. That was fun to see and shows the chemistry that seems to be developing.
As the game neared its final 10 minutes of regulation, Magnus Paajarvi earned his second goal of the night when he received a pass from behind the net and roofed his shot into the top corner.
Willie Desjardins challenged that the play leading up to the goal was offside. To me, it sure looked offside.
<grabs rule book, looks up off-side>— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 24, 2017
After review, they somehow ruled it a good goal and we were treated to seeing Desjardins angrier than he’s ever been behind the bench.
Willie Desjardins did not agree with the ruling. pic.twitter.com/PB7kBXyrsy— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) March 24, 2017
Vancouver found some rhythm and had some scoring chances come their way in the final frame but couldn’t capitalize on any of them. Try as they might, the Canucks couldn’t beat a red hot Jake Allen after the first period.
With 3 minutes left in the game, Ryan Miller was pulled to see if the visiting Canuck team could muster some sort of comeback.
Unfortunately, a weak pass attempt from Alex Edler resulted in a Blues turnover shortly after Miller was pulled. This lead to Alex Pietrangelo securing a St Louis victory with the empty netter.
With the loss, the Canucks are now officially out of the playoff hunt. It may have been a foregone conclusion but it’s still a bitter pill to swallow.
#Canucks officially eliminated from playoff contention.— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) March 24, 2017
STL & NAS both have 85 points
best Nux can do is 85