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Schenn's OT winner helps Blues survive Canucks' comeback push

Brayden Schenn and Nick Leddy Brayden Schenn (10) and Nick Leddy - The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — St. Louis weathered a late offensive storm from the Vancouver Canucks to emerge with an overtime win.

But the Blues didn't make it easy on themselves, giving up three goals in the third period to allow Vancouver back into the game, courtesy of a Pius Suter hat trick.

Brayden Schenn scored the winner 1:54 into overtime after Jake Neighbours recorded a goal and an assist in the 4-3 victory.

"We were able to gut it out defensively, had a couple big blocks, guys playing hard for one another so it's good to see and guys stepping up scoring goals," Schenn said after the win.

Alexey Toropchenko and Pavel Buchnevich added the others for St. Louis (24-20-2) while Joel Hofer made 29 saves.

Pius Suter scored his second career hat trick for Vancouver (32-12-4), the first having come three years ago to the day. Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser contributed two assists apiece.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said his team went away from the fundamentals that have brought it success this season in the loss.

"Instead of continuing what we're doing, we started to get away from it and we gave them two turnovers, we gave them a power play and the momentum shifted," he said. "We just have to stop these turnovers at crucial times. You just can't do that. You have to stay in a team game."

Casey DeSmith stopped 14 shots in the loss.

Suter scored all three of his goals in the third period to push the game into overtime.

The Swiss forward was moved up to the Canucks second line for the night, playing alongside Boeser and J.T. Miller.

"You're on a line that's supposed to score," he said. "At the end, you're just trying to play your game. Win those 50/50 battles, be at the net and then sometimes they go in like today and then other times you hit the post."

Suter scored the tying goal with 52 seconds remaining in regulation after a shot rebounded off J.T. Miller's skate, allowing the Swiss forward to bat the puck home.

The marker came after Suter pulled the Canucks within one on the power play at 5:42 of the third after Hofer missed the puck behind the net.

“I don't know what I was really doing there," said Hofer about the mistake. "I thought our guy was pretty close to me and it is what it is. I'll learn from it. I'm not going to stop handling the puck because of it. I'll just learn from it and I'm gonna move on.”

Suter, for his part, said he benefited from playing heads-up hockey.

"He was trying to play a little bit and the best thing is being there. So when I got it, I know he's gonna slide and just kind of knew I had enough time. So you got to pick your spot," said Suter.

Kevin Hayes drove wide of DeSmith's net before flipping the puck to a waiting Toropchenko who slid it home at 1:41 of the third to make it 3-1.

Suter opened the scoring in the third period just a minute in.

The second period was scoreless with both teams having their share of chances.

Miller rang a shot off the post and followed that with a shot tipped just wide by Suter.

Schenn thought he had St. Louis' third goal of the night in the second period, only for it to be waved off with Neighbours having cross-checked Ian Cole in front of the net during the shot.

“Yeah. I mean, that's a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenceman. It's a push on the back. That's the way I saw it. I saw some guys falling pretty easy out there," said Blues head coach Drew Bannister about the disallowed goal.

Neighbours slid a pass to Buchnevich for an easy tap-in on the power play at 14:57 in the first period.

"It was intense," said Neighbours about the win. "They came at us hard and I thought until the third we did a good job keeping them to the outside and not allowing too much in the middle of the ice. But you know they're going to get their looks and when they did (Hofer) was there and found a way to get two points."

Robert Thomas found an open Neighbours between the hash marks and he fired the puck past DeSmith to open the scoring 13:14 into the first.


Vancouver: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

St. Louis: Play the Kraken in Seattle on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2024.