Lack, Hansen help Canucks clip Blues
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jannik Hansen scored the game's only goal late in the third and Eddie Lack posted a 20-save shutout, as the Vancouver Canucks ended their seven-game slide with a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues in the first game for both teams following the Olympic break.
The Canucks stumbled into the nearly three-week hiatus riding their longest losing streak since the 1998-99 season, but halted the skid thanks to a stellar effort from their rookie netminder, who secured his third shutout of the season.
"Lack was outstanding," Vancouver head coach John Tortorella said. "Key saves at key times. He calms this team down."
St. Louis, on the other hand, had gone 3-0-1 in its four games prior to the break before being shutout for the first time this season on Wednesday. Jaroslav Halak stopped 34-of-35 shots for the Blues, who managed just three shots over the final 20 minutes.
"It was hard-fought, well-played game for the most part," St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I didn't think we had the energy in the third period."
After outshooting St. Louis 28-17 over the first 40 minutes, Vancouver finally broke the scoreless deadlock late in the third when Tom Sestito picked up the puck along the right midboards in his own zone and backhanded a beautiful outlet pass to Hansen.
Hansen corralled the disc near the red line and split two defenders near the blue line before skating into the inner half of the right circle and rifling a wrister under the right arm of Halak to make it 1-0 at 11:13.
St. Louis' Alexander Steen took a cross-checking minor just under 90 seconds later to hamper the Blues' comeback bid and the visitors failed to muster much of anything against Lack the rest of the way.
St. Louis remained even with the idle Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Central standings with 84 points ... Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler did not play after injuring his hand while playing for Team USA in the Olympics ... Vancouver is 6-0-2 in the last eight meetings with St. Louis ... St. Louis went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Vancouver finished 0-for-4.
02/27 01:45:05 ET