Faulk lifts Blues to victory over shorthanded Canucks

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Justin Faulk had a goal and an assist and the St. Louis Blues beat the undermanned Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Sunday night.

Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou also scored for the Blues, and Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists. Ville Husso stopped 38 shots and has a .963 save-percentage in his last five games.

Tanner Pearson had a goal for the Canucks, who have six players and two assistant coaches in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Michael DiPietro had 14 saves in his season debut for Vancouver, becoming the fourth goalie to play for the team this season.

Down 3-1 with less than 90 seconds remaining, the Canucks pulled DiPietro in favor of an extra attacker. Tarasenko nearly scored an empty-netter, but was swarmed by a trio of Canucks intent on not giving up another goal.

Kyrou pushed St. Louis' lead to 3-1 with 3:17 left in the second period, firing a shot through traffic. The puck appeared to ping off the shaft of DiPietro’s stick and in. Faulk and Tarasenko both assisted on the play. Tarasenko has points in his last nine games, with six goals and nine assists in the stretch.

He also figured in the power-play goal that put the Blues up 2-1 early in the second period after the Canucks were called for too many men. Tarasenko sliced a pass to Schenn, who was stationed at the back door. Schenn poked it in for his ninth goal of the year at 3:26.

St. Louis was 1 for 3 on the power play Sunday while Vancouver went scoreless on four opportunities with the man advantage.

Vancouver had a 5-on-3 power play in the first period after Matthew Highmore got tangled up with both Ivan Barbashev and Torey Krug. Barbashev was called for roughing and Krug for removing Highmore’s helmet.

Vancouver managed five shots on the two-man advantage, but didn't score. However, seconds after the penalties expired, Pearson picked up Alex Chiasson’s rebound at the side of the net and fired it past Husso to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the period. Elias Pettersson registered an assist on the play, giving him 100 for his NHL career.

Faulk drew St. Louis even ahead of the first intermission. Oskar Sundqvist blasted a pass to Faulk at the front of the net and the defenseman deflected it from between his legs, sending the puck careening into the crossbar and in with 1:27 remaining.

BOUDREAU'S MILESTONE

Vancouver's Bruce Boudreau coached his 1,000th NHL game. Hired by Vancouver on Dec. 5, the 67-year-old former NHL center has also worked behind the bench for Washington, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota. In 2008, he won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach after guiding the floundering Capitals through a bounce-back campaign.

Boudreau’s wife Crystal and two of their children were in the crowd Sunday as the milestone was marked with a video tribute before puck drop. Several of the coach’s former players — including Marcus Foligno, Alex Ovechkin and Kevin Bieksa — and colleagues like Stan Bowman delivered congratulatory messages. Boudreau appeared to be emotional on the bench.

OUT WITH COVID-19

Canucks All-Star goalie Thatcher Demko and backups Jaroslav Halak and Spencer Martin are all in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol alongside forwards Bo Horvat, Conor Garland and J.T. Miller. Assistant coaches Scott Walker and Kyle Gustafson were added to the list on Sunday. Arturs Silovs of the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks has also tested positive for the virus, forcing Vancouver to sign University of British Columbia goalie Rylan Toth to an amateur tryout agreement so he could act as DiPietro’s backup.

NOTES: Pavel Buchnevich didn’t make the trip to Vancouver with his Blues teammates. The left wing returned from COVID-19 protocols to play in St. Louis’ 5-0 win over the Kraken in Seattle on Friday, but could not cross the border into Canada because he had tested positive for the virus in the last 10 days. ... This was the first time the two teams have played since Jan. 27, 2020, when the Canucks beat the Blues 3-1 in Vancouver.

UP NEXT

Blues: At Calgary on Monday night to finish a three-game trip.

Canucks: Host Edmonton on Tuesday night to wrap up a three-game homestand.

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Faulk lifts Blues to victory over shorthanded Canucks
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