Vrana scores twice as Blues top Canucks in OT
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jakub Vrana scored two goals, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 6-5 overtime victory Tuesday over the Vancouver Canucks.
Vrana scored 28 seconds into overtime for St. Louis. He finished a give-and-go with Brayden Schenn to help the Blues rebound for a win after taking a 5-3 lead into the third period.
"I think overall that was just an amazing play by Brayden. He made a great move there, obviously pass it to me right when I was standing," Vrana said.
"Which was perfect to just shoot the puck there. So great play by him. I think I built a lot of speed there. I saw that the ‘D’ was a little bit flat-footed, try to go around him. I was hoping for him to do that move. And he did it. So it worked well."
The Blues improved to 5-1-1 in their past seven games. Vancouver had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the third time in its last 13 games. The Canucks had won five of their previous six.
Pavel Buchnevich, Alexey Toropchenko, Justin Faulk and Robert Thomas also scored for the Blues.
Andrei Kuzmenko and Quinn Hughes scored two goals apiece, and Brock Boeser added a goal and two assists for the Canucks.
Jordan Binnington stopped 32 shots for St. Louis, which improved to 4-0-2 against the Canucks. Vancouver's Thatcher Demko fell to 2-2-1 lifetime against the Blues. He recorded 25 saves.
Vancouver scored twice in the third period to tie it 5.
“We played a pretty solid game, but in the end, we gave up way too many goals,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Penalty kill, got to do a better job. The fourth goal, we’ve got to defend that. We got mixed up on that play, and the tying goal, tough play, but we’ve got to try and eat that shot from the point.”
The Canucks narrowed the gap to 5-4 on Kuzmenko’s second goal at 12:18.
Hughes tied it with his second goal at 19:06 while the Canucks had an extra skater on the ice.
“Quinn has been very assertive in all facets of the game,” said coach Rick Tocchet. “He was competing tonight. Even when it was 5-2, you could tell by the gleam in his eye like he didn’t think we were out of it. So, obviously he was the main reason we got back in it.”
Vrana snapped a 2-2 tie at 7:24 of the second period and kicked off a three-goal push. Brandon Saad picked off a Boeser pass and fed Vrana, who scored on a slap shot from the top of the slot.
“I collected the puck and I kind of saw him in the slot and figured I would give him one,” Saad said. "He had a one-timer. As soon as I turned, I knew it went in. Great shot, great play. Like I said, he can shoot the puck. He’s a pure goal-scorer. It’s fun to watch him out there. It’s fun to play with him.”
Thomas beat Demko for a power-play goal at 12:08. On a rush, Kasperi Kapanen made a great feed to Buchnevich, who pushed it in for his 25th goal at 13:36.
“I don’t think we played that well in the first to be honest,” Hughes said. “We didn’t really play that well in the second either.”
Blues Assigned goaltender Joel Hofer, 22, to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. Hofer started five of the six games during his recall, which began when Binnington earned a two-game NHL suspension. Hofer posted a 3-0-1 record with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. … RW Vitali Kravtsov returned to the Canucks lineup after missing one game for an undisclosed injury.
Canucks: RW Vasily Podkolzin (upper body) remains day to day after not playing Saturday in Chicago. He exited Saturday’s game at Dallas after blocking a shot. … D Noah Juulsen (lower body) remains out.
Canucks: Host Calgary on Friday.
Blues: Play Thursday at Chicago.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports