3 Keys: Blues vs. Canucks, Game 4 of Western First Round


No. 4 Blues vs. No. 5 Canucks

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, FS-MW

Vancouver leads best-of-7 series, 2-1

The St. Louis Blues will try to win their second game in as many nights and pull even in the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round, when the play Game 4 against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday.

The Blues won 3-2 in Game 3 on Sunday, when forward Brayden Schenn scored on a breakaway at 15:06 of overtime. Jake Allen made 39 saves in his first start of the series.

St. Louis was previously winless (0-4-1) in Edmonton, the West hub city, including a 5-2 loss in Game 1 against Vancouver and a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2. The Blues were 0-2-1 in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

“We’ve got to keep on building,” Schenn said. “It’s one win. Obviously, it took a while, a lot longer than we expected to get one here in Edmonton. We feel [round-robin] wasn’t great but in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs], each game we’re getting better and hopefully still a long series.”

The Canucks had their five-game winning streak end, but their power play struck for another goal, improving to 6-for-11 against the Blues.

Canucks center Elias Pettersson and defenseman Quinn Hughes extended their point streaks to six games, each with nine points. Pettersson has four goals and five assists. Hughes has one goal and eight assists.

Hughes can set an NHL record for longest point streak by a rookie defenseman in the playoffs with one point in Game 4.

Here are 3 keys to Game 4:


1. Allen or Binnington, Part 2

Allen answered the call in Game 3, but it’s a back-to-back, meaning the Blues could go back to Jordan Binnington, who started the first two games of the series and allowed nine goals on 47 shots.

“I’ll think about it tonight,” Blues coach Craig Berube said following Game 3.

The Blues have had more success in Edmonton with Allen in net. He also made 37 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars in a round-robin game Aug. 9. Binnington has allowed 17 goals in his four starts, including 15 in his past three.

But Binnington helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season, going 16-10 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. 


2. Canucks at 5-on-5

The Canucks have scored 11 goals in the series; four at 5-on-5.

They’ve been outshot 98-69 at 5-on-5. They’re minus-51 in total shot attempts at 5-on-5 (185-126).

The Blues have had the puck more and controlled the pace more at 5-on-5. The Canucks’ four 5-on-5 goals have come after Blues turnovers or miscues, like defensemen Marco Scandella and Colton Parayko colliding in the defensive zone, leading to Pettersson’s goal in Game 3.


3. Blues special teams

The Blues penalty kill is 45.5 percent in the series. Their power play is 2-for-11 and has allowed one shorthanded goal.

They had two power plays in Game 3, one in the final two minutes of the third period and one in overtime, and didn’t generate a shot on goal on either. They had two shot attempts, one on each power play from defenseman Alex Pietrangelo that were blocked.

More of a shooting mentality should help the Blues on the power play.


Blues projected lineup

Jaden SchwartzRyan O’ReillyDavid Perron

Jordan KyrouBrayden SchennTyler Bozak

Zach SanfordRobert ThomasSammy Blais

Oskar SundqvistJacob de la Rose — MacKenzie MacEachern

Carl GunnarssonAlex Pietrangelo

Marco ScandellaColton Parayko

Vince DunnJustin Faulk

Jake Allen

Jordan Binnington

Scratched: Troy Brouwer, Ivan Barbashev, Ville Husso, Robert Bortuzzo, Klim Kostin, Austin Poganski, Niko Mikkola, Derrick Pouliot, Jake Walman

Unfit to play: Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen


Canucks projected lineup

J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatLoui Eriksson

Antoine RousselBrandon SutterJake Virtanen

Tyler MotteJay BeagleZack MacEwen

Alexander EdlerTroy Stecher

Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev

Oscar FantenbergJordie Benn

Jacob Markstrom

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Olli Juolevi, Justin Bailey, Jalen Chatfield, Louis Domingue, Adam Gaudette, Tyler Graovac, Brogan Rafferty

Unfit to play: Micheal Ferland, Josh Leivo, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Myers


Status report

Tarasenko and Steen were unfit to play in Game 3 and there was no update on the forwards’ status for Game 4. … Myers didn’t play in Game 3 and there was no update on the defenseman’s status prior to Game 4. He was injured in the third period of Game 2.

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