Thomas scores in third period to push Blues win over Canucks
Thomas, selected to his first All-Star Game earlier in the day, broke a 1-all tie at 8:03 of the third period, picking the top left corner of the net from the high slot for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
“I think he’s becoming a more mature professional hockey player and understanding what he needs to do as a player to give our team an opportunity to have success,” Blues interim coach Drew Bannister said.
“I think the offensive side comes very easy to him. Obviously, he has to work at it, but he sees the ice so well. He’s shooting the puck a lot more. He’s built that into his game," Bannister added. "The defensive side for any skilled hockey player is always the one thing that kind of lags a little bit, but I think with Robby, we’re starting to see him really mature into a really good two-way hockey player."
“I just found it over the blocker,” Thomas said. “A lot of guys did a lot of good things for that goal.”
Thomas, an Aurora, Ontario native, said being able to play in the All-Star Game in Toronto near his hometown is extra special.
“My family and friends are so excited,” he said. “My grandma is super stoked to be there. It should be a cool experience for all of us.”
“I thought we missed a glorious chance in the third,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “We had four or five missed nets. We’ve got to hit the net on those shots.”
The Blues have earned points in six straight home games against Vancouver, going 4-0-2 during that span.
Garland’s one-timer from the high slot off Teddy Blueger’s feed gave the Canucks the lead at 1:57 of the first period.
Demko held his post to thwart Jake Neighbours’ rush late in the first and stopped all 11 shots by the Blues in the opening period.
Parayko evened it at 4:22 of the second, ringing a wrister off the post for his seventh goal of the season. Parayko played in his 614th career game to tie Barclay Plager for fourth-most among defensemen in Blues history.
“It was an early one that we gave up, so we rebounded good,” Parayko said. “I think our group is hungry right now and we know where we are. And it’s a tough division that we’re in, so we've got to continue to get points, to stick with games and not let things like that kind of get us down.”
Binnington kept it tied with a big save late in the second after Garland found himself alone at the net due to a Blues turnover.
Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes had his five-game point streak snapped, but was chosen for the All-Star Game for the fourth time in his six-year career.
“It’s a great honor,” Hughes said. “It’s hard to get in there. I believe we’ve got four or five guys that should be in there."
Canucks: Play at New Jersey on Saturday night.
Blues: Play at Carolina on Saturday night.
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