The Canucks, for a change, grabbed the lead in this game. A first-period goal by Chris Higgins and the first of two goals by Ryan Kesler midway through the second gave Vancouver a 2-0 lead. But two quick minor penalties to Zack Kassian and Kevin Bieksa gave the Blues a 5-on-3 power play late in the second period. Alex Steen scored during that 5-on-3, then Vladimir Sobotka scored early in the third, just two seconds after Bieksa’s penalty had expired, to tie the game. But Kesler won it with 14.7 seconds left in overtime. The Canucks finished their seven-game trip with a record of 5-1-1.
BY THE NUMBERS
Kesler had eight of Vancouver’s 21 shots. About the only thing he didn’t do well was win faceoffs. He was 5-9 in the circle and as a team the Canucks won only 39 per cent of their draws...Defenceman Kevin Bieksa entered the game a league-best plus-11, but was minus-one on the night. . .Defenceman Alex Edler logged a team-high 25:19 and blocked five shots. . .Capgeek.com is reporting that Carolina is picking up 40 per cent of the salary of centre Jeremy Welsh, whose cap hit is $850,000 this season. Vancouver is only being charged $510,000 of that.
The Canucks have played five more games than Blues this season and that has allowed Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin to move within one game of St. Louis defenceman Jay Bouwmeester’s ironman streak. Henrik played his 642nd straight game Friday night. Bouwmeester logged game No. 643. . . St. Louis centre and former Canuck Maxim Lapierre sat out Friday’s game. He was serving the third game of a five-game suspension for his hit from behind on San Jose defenceman Dan Boyle.
After nearly two weeks on the road, the Canucks were scheduled to arrive home early Saturday morning after their post-game charter. They begin a three-game homestand Monday night against NHL goal-scoring leader Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The Detroit Red Wings (on Wednesday night) and the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4 pm.m start on Saturday also visit Rogers Arena next week.
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