Canucks suffer power outage in 4-3 loss to Blues

 

Vancouver goes 0-for-5 with man advantage and is now 1-for-18 this season

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, top, trips over St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, top, trips over St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.

Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

There had been plenty of positives for the Vancouver Canucks in the opening four games of this young National Hockey League season.

Their power play was not one of them.

The Canucks raced to a 3-0-1 record without much help from their sputtering power play. Friday night, it caught up to them.

Vancouver fell behind early and desperately needed a kickstart from their power play. Instead, there was only more frustration as the Canucks opened a five-game homestand at Rogers Arena with a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

The score flattered the Canucks, who scored two late goals to make it close.

The Canucks went 0-for-5 on the power play Friday night and are now 1-for-18 this season with the man advantage. You have to think defenceman Yannick Weber, who was scratched again Friday night, might have to be returned to the lineup to try and spark the power play.

“Our power play is taking a lot of heat with not scoring,” coach Willie Desjardins said after the game. “We had some good chances on the power play, though. We could have had three or four. . .We’ll evaluate it but we had lots of chances.”

Alex Steen converted a Vladimir Tarasenko pass early in the second period after an Alex Edler giveaway to give the Blues a 2-0 lead. The Canucks got a power-play opportunity shortly after that goal and Daniel Sedin and Brandon Sutter both had opportunities it make it a 2-1 game. Neither could convert and shortly after that penalty expired the Blues made it 3-0 on a goal off the rush by Robert Bortuzzo.

It was pretty much game over.

“You have to execute passes, trust in what you do,” captain Henrik Sedin said of the team’s power-play woes. “We are missing execution, that is the only thing. We have a lot of pucks on our sticks, we are just not making the plays that we know we can.”

“The first couple (power plays) we didn’t get much going on,” added Sutter. “Too much perimeter stuff and the power play kind of went like the rest of our game. Once we started putting pucks on the net and getting shots through and keeping it a little more simple, stuff was created around the net with rebounds.

“We have to have a little more of that going forward. . .we have only had five games, so hopefully we will get it figured out.”

Sutter scored a short-handed goal at 12:38 of the second, putting shot through the legs of St. Louis goalie Jake Allen, to make it 3-1.

The Canucks had a four-minute power play late in the second and early in the third but again could not score.

Kyle Brodziak made it 4-1 at the 16:14 mark of the third. Rookie Jared McCann responded 30 seconds later with his second of the season and Daniel Sedin made it 4-3 with 29 seconds left in the third.

“That is a tough to team to come back against,” Desjardins said. “I didn’t think we were at the best of our game, maybe until late. . .we were a half-step slow and we needed that half-step against a good team.”

The Blues, who had played Thursday night in Edmonton, snapped a six-game losing streak to the Canucks.

The Canucks dressed both of their rookie forwards, Jake Virtanen and McCann, for the first time this season.

“I thought Jake was real good,” Desjardins said of Virtanen, who had one shot and three hits in 8:32 of ice time. “I thought Jared again got better as the game went on. That’s a tough team to play against for a centreman down low. They battle hard and I don’t think he is quite ready for that yet. Mentally, he doesn’t know how hard they are going to battle, so it catches him by surprise a little bit. But once he learns, he will adjust to it.”

To make room for both of the kids, the Canucks made winger Sven Baertschi a healthy scratch.

The Blues scored the only goal of a rather uneventful first period. It came at the 7:36 mark when Jaden Schwartz delivered a perfect cross-ice pass to Jori Lehtera, who wheeled around Vancouver centre Bo Horvat before whistling a wrist shot past Canucks goalie Ryan Miller.

Horvat was on the ice for three of the St. Louis goals.

ICE CHIPS: The Canucks play host to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night. That game is a 6 p.m. start. . .Sutter’s goal was the 100th of his career (his 11th short-handed marker) and came in his 500th NHL game. . .The Canucks fell to 3-1-1, while St. Louis improved to 4-1-0.

bziemer@vancouversun.com

twitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
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Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, top, trips over St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
 

Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, top, trips over St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.

Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, top, trips over St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #2 Dan Hamhuis is tied up in the corner by St Louis Blues #26 Paul Stastny in the second period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #24 Adam Cracknell and St Louis Blues #42 David Backes look for the rebound in front of Blues goalie Jake Allen in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen allows a goal to Vancouver Canucks’ Brandon Sutter during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #5 Luca Sbisa and  St Louis Blues #36 Troy Brouwer look for the puck along the boards in the second period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #33 Henrik Sedin and St Louis Blues #93 Scott Gomez end up on the ice in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #15 Derek Dorsett enters the penalty box with a torn jersey after his fight during the second period against the St Louis Blues in  a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Blues goalie Jake Allen clears the puck fromVancouver Canucks #18 Jake Virtanen in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
St Louis Blues #41 Ronalds Kenins watches  as Vancouver Canucks #14 Alexandre Burrows and #53 Bo Horvat dig for the rebound as the shot is stopped by St Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, top, trips over St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday October 16, 2015.
St. Louis Blues’ Scottie Upshall, left, skates into the corner to pick up the puck while being watched by Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, back, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #7 Christopher Tanev and St Louis Blues #26 Paul Stastny look for the puck in front of Canucks goalie Ryan Miller in the second period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
St. Louis Blues’ goalie Jake Allen, left, stops Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #15 Derek Dorsett shot is stopped by St Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #14 Alexandre Burrows and #53 Bo Horvat dig for the rebound as the shot is stopped by St Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
St. Louis Blues’ Scottie Upshall, left, skates into the corner to pick up the puck while being chased by Vancouver Canucks’ Dan Hamhuis, right, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks’ Brandon Sutter, left, and Luca Sbisa, of Italy, celebrate Sutter’s goal against the St. Louis Blues during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #7 Christopher Tanev and St Louis Blues #26 Paul Stastny look for the puck in front of Canucks goalie Ryan Miller in the second period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #47 Sven Baertschi skates in the warm up prior to playing the St Louis Blues in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #47 Sven Baertschi looks at the big screen after scoring on the Edmonton Oilers in the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver   April 11 2015.
St. Louis Blues’ Robert Bortuzzo, back, loses his helmet during a fight with Vancouver Canucks’ Derek Dorsett during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #15 Derek Dorsett skates in the warm up prior to playing the St Louis Blues in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #91 Jared McCann is sandwiched by teammate #14 Alexandre Burrows and St Louis Blues #42 David Backes in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #14 Alexandre Burrows and #91 Jared McCann double team St Louis Blues #42 David Backes in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #47 Sven Baertschi skates in the warm up prior to playing the St Louis Blues in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller stops a shot from the St Louis Blues in the second period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks \v St Louis Blues \b in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
Vancouver Canucks #18 Jake Virtanen skates in the warm up prior to playing the St Louis Blues in a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers Arena Vancouver. October 16 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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