Santorelli lifts Canucks past Blues, 2-1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Mike Santorelli scored the tiebreaking goal in the third and Eddie Lack made 30 saves Friday night as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Zac Dalpe also scored for Vancouver, which won for the first time in the new year.
Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis, which snapped a seven-game winning streak. Brian Elliott made 20 saves as the Blues failed to pick up at least a point on the road for the first time in nine games.
Santorelli got the tiebreaker at 5:56 of the third. After Vancouver forward Dale Weise drove hard to the net, the puck popped out to Jason Garrison in the high slot and his shot through traffic was deflected in by Santorelli for his 10th goal of the season.
Santorelli has been one of head coach John Tortorella's favorite players this season, but he was taken off the top line with the Sedin twins in the first period on Friday.
Lack then made a huge pad stop on Blues captain David Backes midway through the third to keep Vancouver ahead.
The Swedish goalie has started eight of the last nine games in place of the injured Roberto Luongo.
Vancouver has given up six goals when teams pull their goalie this season, but a late power play that killed valuable time helped the Canucks snap an 0-2-3 run after going 10-1-2 in December.
The Canucks currently hold down the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference, while the Blues still sit second in the conference and first in the Central Division.
After St. Louis carried most of the play in the first period, the Canucks scored just 91 seconds into the second when Dalpe tipped home his second of the season shortly after taking Santorelli's spot on Vancouver's first line.
Daniel Sedin swung a pass from behind the net to Henrik Sedin, who fired a low shot from the sideboards that was going wide before Dalpe, usually a fourth-liner, deflected it past a surprised Elliot.
Moments earlier, Lack stopped Blues forward Jaden Schwartz on a 3-on-1.
Dalpe and the Sedins were caught on an icing call later in the period, leading to the Blues' tying goal. On the ensuing faceoff, St. Louis controlled the puck and Jay Bouwmeester fed Pietrangelo, his fellow defenseman and Canadian Olympic teammate, who wired a shot top corner past Lack for his seventh of the campaign.
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko accented the play by letting Bouwmeester's pass go between his legs at the blue line right to Pietrangelo.
The Blues were playing their second game in two nights after a 5-0 win at Calgary on Thursday, but had far more energy than the Canucks in the first period.
In a sign of things to come, Stewart had two shots off the rush 3 minutes in that Lack handled as the Blues jumped out of the gate quickly, outshooting the Canucks 8-1 in the game's first 10 minutes.
Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis got his team's second shot of the period with 8 minutes to go as Elliott - back between the pipes for the Blues after Jaroslav Halak's shutout on Thursday - was rarely threatened.
Schwartz had the two best chances of the first, but Lack was there to shut the door as St. Louis held a 12-5 shot advantage.
NOTES: The Canucks defeated the Blues 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 25 in St. Louis. Ryan Kesler had two goals in that one, including the winner. The teams play their final regular-season meeting Feb 26, back at Rogers Arena. ... The Canucks open a three-game road trip on Monday against Los Angeles. Vancouver visits Anaheim on Wednesday before facing Phoenix the following night. ... The Blues open a three-game homestand against the Coyotes on Tuesday. ... Tortorella coached the 900th game of his career. ... Bouwmeester, the current NHL iron man, played his 680th straight game. Henrik Sedin is right behind after playing in his 675th straight game. Both Bouwmeester and Sedin have a long way to go to catch Doug Jarvis, who holds the NHL record with 964 straight games played.
Published in Sports