3 Keys: Canucks vs. Blues, Game 2 of Western First Round

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No. 5 Canucks vs. No. 4 Blues

6:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, FS-MW

Vancouver leads best-of-7 series, 1-0

 

The St. Louis Blues will try to even their best-of-7 series against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Rogers Place on Friday.

The Blues, who won the Stanley Cup last season, lost 5-2 in Game 1 at Edmonton, the West hub city, on Wednesday.

St. Louis lost Game 1 in the Western Conference Final and the Stanley Cup Final last season but responded to win Game 2 each time.

“I’m not too worried about that part of it, the resilient part of it,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I think that we came out and played a pretty good hockey game [Wednesday] night. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but overall we did a lot of good stuff in the game.”

The Canucks have won four straight since losing 3-0 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Minnesota Wild on Aug. 2.

Teams with a 2-0 lead are 324-51 (86.4 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Here are 3 keys to Game 2:

 

1. Blues’ discipline, playing 5-on-5

The Canucks’ ability to stay out of the penalty box was a key going into Game 1. It’s been flipped to the Blues, who gave Vancouver six power plays in Game 1 and allowed three goals while shorthanded.

“We’re a team that’s pretty good 5-on-5 and like to wear teams out in the offensive zone,” Blues defenseman Justin Faulk said. “If you get shorthanded too many times, take too many penalties, it disrupts that flow.”

 

2. Hughes’ resiliency

Canucks rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes took some punishment in Game 1. The Blues appeared focused on rattling him at every opportunity.

But Hughes never seemed to be bothered. Following the game, he said it was an honor that the Blues were paying him so much attention.

He should expect more of the same in Game 2. Hughes has a four-game point streak and leads Vancouver with seven points (one goal, six assists) in the postseason.

 

3. Win the third period

The Canucks outscored the Blues 3-0 in the third period of Game 1. St. Louis has been outscored 9-0 in the third in the postseason; Vancouver has outscored the opposition 7-3.

Both teams said they expect another tight game, so the Blues are likely going to have to change their fortunes in the third period.

 

Canucks projected lineup

J.T. MillerElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatLoui Eriksson

Antoine RousselBrandon SutterJake Virtanen

Tyler MotteJay BeagleZack MacEwen

Alexander EdlerTroy Stecher

Quinn Hughes — Christopher Tanev

Oscar FantenbergTyler Myers

Jacob Markstrom

Thatcher Demko

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

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

 

Blues projected lineup

Jaden SchwartzBrayden SchennVladimir Tarasenko

Zach SanfordRyan O’ReillyDavid Perron

Oskar SundqvistRobert ThomasTyler Bozak

Mackenzie MacEachernJacob de la RoseTroy Brouwer

Carl GunnarssonAlex Pietrangelo

Marco ScandellaColton Parayko

Vince Dunn — Justin Faulk

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

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

Unfit to play: Sammy Blais, Alexander Steen

 

Status report

It’s unclear if forwards Blais and Steen, who were unfit to play Game 1, will be able to return. … Barbashev is expected to return to Edmonton on Friday after leaving to be with his wife for the birth of their first child Monday. He will have to quarantine in his hotel room and have four consecutive days of negative test results for COVID-19 before he can rejoin the Blues. … Toffoli is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game. He was injured in Game 1 against the Wild.

NHL.com staff writer David Satriano contributed to this report

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