The Blues looked more like their defending Stanley Cup champion selves in Game 3, and it says a lot about the Canucks that they still pushed St. Louis so hard on Sunday. With a beautiful overtime game-winner by Brayden Schenn, the Blues squeezed out a 3-2 OT win, getting back into the series by shrinking the Canucks’ lead to 2-1.
Both the Canucks and Blues must be a little relieved that the contest didn’t go too deep into OT, as they face off in Game 4 on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; livestream).
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Here is that tremendous Game 3 overtime-winner by Schenn:
Blues squander opportunities, but Schenn wins it in Game 3 OT, thwarting Canucks
Following that thriller where the Blues managed a late surge to force overtime, only for Bo Horvat to come through big once again, this one didn’t involve third-period theatrics.
Granted, there could have been some late drama. The Blues received a power-play opportunity with the score tied 2-2 that basically ended the third period. There was no drama, however, as that Blues power play accomplished very little.
That averted drama carried into overtime, too. Following a controversial tripping call, the Blues failed miserably during an OT power play chance. With two huge power-play opportunities, the Blues didn’t even register a shot on goal.
Not. One. Shot.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) August 17, 2020
Schenn couldn’t pull the trigger on a power play one-timer chance, so it must have felt like redemption for Schenn to score the OTGWG on a semi-breakaway. Ryan O'Reilly set up that play, which felt at least a touch broken. And just like that, the Blues broke through.
After Horvat was one of the biggest heroes of this First Round series, Elias Pettersson made some big plays. Pettersson and Quinn Hughes received assists in setting up J.T. Miller‘s goal, then Pettersson tied the game 2-2 with his lethal shot.
As much attention as the Blues’ goalie situation draws now that Jake Allen replaced Jordan Binnington, the Canucks continue to receive steady goaltending from Jacob Markstrom. That said, Allen and Markstrom both looked good in Game 4, so that could set the stage for a nice battle. (If the Blues stick with Allen, of course.)
It’s telling that the Blues have only held a lead for 37 seconds so far during the First Round against the Canucks. But it’s also very much the nature of the beast in hockey that the Blues nonetheless won Game 3, shrinking the Canucks’ series lead to 2-1.
No. 4 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks (VAN leads 2-1)
Wednesday, Aug. 12: Canucks 5, Blues 2 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Canucks 4, Blues 3 [OT] (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Blues 3, Canucks 2 [OT]
Monday, Aug. 17: St. Louis at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Vancouver at St. Louis – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: St. Louis at Vancouver – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Vancouver at St. Louis – TBD
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.