ST. LOUIS – The Sedin twins carried the Vancouver Canucks’ offence in regulation. A low-scoring rookie defenceman brought them home – again.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin combined for five points, and Alex Edler decided a shootout for the second time in four games in the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.
“I really want to shoot, but I know a defenceman doesn’t get that many chances,” said the 21-year-old Edler, a second-round pick in 2004. “But I scored the other night and I got the chance again.”
Edler, who has two goals and 10 points in 38 games, was the Canucks’ second shooter and beat Manny Legace between the pads. He netted the winner in a victory over the Islanders on Tuesday when he scored in the sixth round, and is 2-for-2 in shootout chances.
“I had no idea what he was going to do,” Legace said. “I shouldn’t have tried to fake a poke check, and as soon as I did it he shot it through my legs.”
Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo stopped Brad Boyes, Paul Kariya and Andy McDonald in the shootout.
Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists, and twin brother Henrik had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who rebounded from consecutive losses to Phoenix and San Jose and snapped a three-game road losing streak. Vancouver, 12-9-2 on the road, entered the night in a three-way tie for first place in the Northwest Division.
“I think we were on our toes from the beginning,” Daniel Sedin said. “When we forecheck good we usually play good.”
Low-scoring defenceman Christian Backman had a goal and an assist, and Kariya had two assists for the Blues, who were 2-2 during a stretch of four games in six days. Backman scored his first goal of the season and set up Keith Tkachuk’s breakaway goal in the second period, giving him 10 points in 39 games.
But the Blues couldn’t quite recover from a 3-1 deficit early in the second period.
“I thought we had a rather sluggish start and I didn’t feel we lost the extra point in the shootout,” coach Andy Murray said. “I thought we lost it with our start but we found a way to keep ourselves in the game.”
Taylor Pyatt assisted on both of Vancouver’s first-period goals, but left late in the period when he was struck in the face by the puck. He didn’t return and coach Alain Vigneault said Pyatt would visit the Blues’ team dentist on Monday.
“It took longer than we expected to stitch him up, and his teeth are sort of in the back of his mouth right now,” Vigneault said. “Until they take an X-ray, there’s not much you can tell.”
Brad Boyes’ 25th goal ended a 2-for-43 drought on the power play for St. Louis and tied it at 3 at 11:15 of the third. Boyes, who needs one goal to match his career high set in 2005-06 with Boston, scored on a one-timer off a backhand feed from Kariya.
The Blues scored first for the seventh straight game, connecting on their first shot when Boyes feathered a backhand feed in front to Backman for a backhander at 5:11.
St. Louis was whistled for three penalties during the last half of the period, helping the Canucks take control. Daniel Sedin beat the defence after taking a long pass from Pyatt at the blue line and then roofed a shot for his 21st goal at 10:49 to tie it at 1. Henrik Sedin got his eighth on a deflection from Pyatt at 18:04.
Markus Naslund was alone in front after a cross-ice feed from Henrik Sedin, slipping the puck around Legace on a power play for a 3-1 lead 35 seconds into the second period. Tkachuk’s breakaway at 4:45 cut the deficit to one when he whistled a shot past Luongo after a long pass from Backman that was tipped by Kariya.
Pyatt was struck in the face with the puck with 1:19 to go in the first period when he got in the way of Eric Brewer’s clearing pass. He was down for several minutes while bleeding, then left the ice holding a towel to his face.
Notes: Backman’s goal ended a 39-game drought. He had seven goals last season and six in 2005-06. … The Canucks had been in a 2-for-26 slump on the power play before Naslund’s goal. … Naslund’s goal was his second in 11 games. … Tkachuk has 13 goals, including three in four games.