Blues edge conference rivals Vancouver in important shootout victory

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | 10:37 p.m. CDT
Vancouver Canucks' Andrew Ebbett, left, reaches for a loose puck as St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott defends during the second period Tuesday night in St. Louis. The Blues beat Vancouver in an overtime shootout, giving them an important victory in a tight race to make the Western Conference playoffs.

ST. LOUIS— Jay Bouwmeester tied the score midway through the third period, and Andy McDonald and Alex Steen scored in the shootout to lead the Blues to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Brian Elliott made 21 saves in regulation and stopped Derek Roy and Alexandre Burrows in the shootout, solidifying the Blues' chances in a tight Western Conference race. Bowmeester's goal was his first since joining the Blues in a trade-deadline deal.

Alexander Edler scored on a power play late in the second period for Vancouver. Cory Schneider made 35 saves in regulation but surrendered two goals on three shootout chances.

The Canucks played for the third time in four nights, all on the road, and had trouble generating much offense coming off a 5-2 victory at Nashville the previous night.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock got his 600th career win against the franchise he beat for his first victory when his Dallas Stars won at Vancouver on Jan. 22, 1996.

Security was increased a day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon with all fans getting wanded on their way into the Scottrade Center and bomb-sniffing dogs observed. A moment of silence was observed before the anthems.

The Blues entered the game in seventh place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Columbus and Detroit with seven to play, including six at home. They were 0 for 4 on the power play, extending a run of futility to 6 for 76.

The Blues had been outscored 7-0 over three games since Kevin Shattenkirk's first-period goal in a 4-1 loss at Columbus on Friday night before Bouwmeester, a key acquisition on defense for the stretch, scored his first goal in eight games with St. Louis to tie it midway through the third.

Bouwmeester got his seventh of the season on a 2-on-1 rush at 10:50, driving the net on Schneider after collecting a puck that went between the legs of a Vancouver defender. The play was set up by a pair of players in deep slumps with David Perron earning just his fourth point with no goals in 16 games and Alex Pietrangelo getting his fourth point in 17 games without a goal.

The Canucks were outshot 25-11 through two periods, but needed just one shot on a power play late in the second to take the lead and end a string of 25 straight penalty kills by St. Louis.

With Vladimir Sobotka off for hooking, Edler threaded a high drive through traffic past Brian Elliott that clanged off the far post. Both Sedins assisted on Edler's seventh goal of the season, giving Henrik Sedin 11 points in his last seven games and Daniel Sedin nine in that same span.

Seconds earlier, Schneider denied Alex Steen on a 3-on-2 short-handed rush.

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