Canucks put end to Blues' win streak

From staff and wire reportsJanuary 11, 2014 

Two significant streaks came to an end late Friday as the St. Louis Blues dropped a 2-1 decision on the road against the Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver halted the Blues' seven-game winning streak, as well as the Blues' streak of scoring five or more goals in four striaght games.

The Blues (31-8-5; 67 points) had also been 9-0-4 against Canadian teams this season. One Blues streak continues as they allowed two goals or fewer for the seventh straight game, their longest stretch since a 10-game streak of two goals or less Feb. 23 to March 11, 2012.

Vancouver's Zac Dalpe scored after being promoted to the first line and Mike Santorelli added the winner following his demotion to the fourth unit as the Canucks snapped a five-game losing streak.

"There's something to be said for the adversity they have been facing," said Blues captain David Backes, whose team was playing its second game in two nights. "We knew we were going to get a team that was concentrating and on their game plan and doing all the little things."

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had the only goal for the Blues and Brian Elliott made 20 saves in the loss as the Blues failed to pick up at least a point on the road for the first time in nine games.

"They're a good team, we knew they were kind of struggling," Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "I don't really care how things have been going for them, but you know coming in here they are a good team. We just didn't create enough."

Pietrangelo's seventh goal pushed his season-high point streak to five games and he tied his career high with seven shots. He has two goals and eight points during the streak.

With his team playing a tentative first period, Canucks coach John Tortorella moved Dalpe up with Henrik and Daniel Sedin and left him there for the rest of the game.

The line juggling only tells part of the story, though, as a Canucks team that has surrendered plenty of late goals this season -- including two against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Tuesday's 5-4 shootout loss -- hung on for dear life in the final minute.

"It was pretty much like a dogfight at the end," said Santorelli. "We were happy that we finally closed one out and now we just need to build off that."

The Canucks have been scored on six times with opponents' goalies pulled for an extra attacker this season, but Eddie Lack and some desperate defending shut the door this time for Vancouver.

Santorelli snapped a 1-1 tie at 5:56 of the third after linemate Dale Weise -- a healthy scratch last game -- drove hard to the net. The puck popped out to Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison in the high slot and his shot through traffic was deflected in by Santorelli for his 10th goal of the season.

Lack then made a huge pad stop on Backes midway through the third to keep Vancouver ahead. The Swedish goalie has started eight of the last nine games in place of the injured Roberto Luongo.

A late power play helped kill valuable time before the Blues made their late push as the Canucks snapped an 0-2-3 run in January after going 10-1-2 in December.

After the Blues carried most of the play in the first period, the Canucks scored just 91 seconds into the second when Dalpe tipped home his second of the season.

Daniel Sedin swung a pass from behind the net to Henrik Sedin, who fired a low shot from the sideboards that was going wide before Dalpe deflected it past a surprised Elliot.

On the ensuing faceoff following an icing call, the Blues controlled the puck and Bouwmeester fed Pietrangelo, who wired a shot top corner past Lack for his seventh of the campaign.

The Blues were playing their second game in two nights after a 5-0 win at Calgary on Thursday, but had far more energy than the Canucks in the first period.

Blues forward Jaden Schwartz had the two best chances of the first, but Lack was there to shut the door as St. Louis held a 12-5 shot advantage heading to the locker-rooms.

The Blues open a three-game homestand against the Coyotes on Tuesday. Bouwmeester, the NHL iron man, played his 680th straight game. Vancouver's Henrik Sedin is right behind after playing in his 675th straight. Doug Jarvis holds the NHL record with 964 straight games played.

Reaves signs extension

Earlier Friday, the Blues announced that rugged winger Ryan Reaves had signed a four-year, $4.5 million contract extension. The 26-year-old Reaves has two goals and five points in 27 games this season.

"We are happy to have Ryan in the fold for the next four years," Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said. "He has grown into a well-rounded player and will continue to play an important role for our team moving forward."

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