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There ain’t no rest for the wicked, or the Vancouver Canucks as they jumped right back into action on Monday night for game three against the St. Louis Blues.

Both teams went with the exact same lineups as game three and that included Jacob Markstrom and Jake Allen starting in net for each team.

The Canucks were dominated at even strength on Sunday night and needed to have more energy in their game to skate with the big and strong Blues team. The eyes were on The Lotto Line as they had their best possession numbers of the series in game three. Being the “home team” in game four meant that Travis Green had last change perks in this game. That meant that the Elias Pettersson line could get away from the Ryan O’Reilly line once again.

The Blues picked up their physicality in game three and it worked for them so the Canucks young stars needed to be ready for more of that in game four.

Lines

Monday was Jake Virtanen’s birthday. Does that mean anything?

Well…

Let’s go!

First Period

The period began with team’s trading unsuccessful powerplay attempts and Bo Horvat running into the boards awkwardly. Horvat did not miss a shift but it was a scary moment for Canucks fans as their captain skated gingerly to the bench.

The Canucks had three powerplays in the first period and looked dangerous. They were moving the puck well once they gained the zone — yet gaining the zone was still the biggest problem.

The drop pass is a lot like banging your head against the wall.

It doesn’t accomplish anything and it’s a dumb idea.

The Canucks have skilled players who are capable of skating the puck into the offensive zone. They might have the best defenceman in the league at doing it with Quinn Hughes quarterbacking the first unit. Pettersson and Miller are both great once they gain a head of speed and it’s just a waste of talent to continually try this drop pass.

As the period was wearing down, Brock Boeser took a weak penalty. He did get the Blues player on the hands but it still looked pretty weak in slow motion.

When the Blues went to the powerplay it didn’t take long for the first unit to score. Alex Pietrangelo fired a shot wide that ricocheted directly onto the stick of O’Reilly right beside the net.

O’Reilly wasn’t going to miss from in tight and the Blues were on the board with the opening goal for the first time in this series. 1-0 Blues.

The period ended with Antoine Roussel and Sammy Blais dropping the gloves. Blais ate some punches as he was hit before he even knew what was happening. Roussel wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to drop the gloves after the Blues goal and Blais simply was not ready for the smoke.

The Canucks finally won the 5-on-5 possession numbers as they attempted 11 shots on net compared to the Blues’ eight shots. The Canucks also held the Blues to zero scoring chances at 5-on-5 which is a good step forward as they allowed an average of six scoring chances per period in game three at 5-on-5.

It was a good 5-on-5 period for the Canucks.

The first 20 minutes had the Canucks down by one goal but the team looked to have some jump and built momentum through the period from three powerplays, a Roussel fight and winning the possession numbers at even strength.

Second Period

The Canucks came out firing in the second frame and it didn’t take long for them to tie things up. Alex Edler fired a shot that was tipped by Miller and just 40 seconds into the period we had a tie game on our hands. 1-1 after the Canucks goal.

The Canucks received a powerplay just seconds after the Miller goal. They were unable to get anything going on that powerplay and the Blues built momentum from the kill that went on for the remainder of the second period.

O’Reilly scored his second goal of the game when he was given an acre and a half of space in front of Markstrom. O’Reilly had time to decide what move he wanted to make, what he wanted for breakfast and watched an entire season of The Office before rippling the twine. 2-1 Blues.

You just can’t give O’Reilly that much time as Edler and Stecher were both caught behind the net and that was the fourth goal against with Stecher on the ice in the past five periods.

Zack MacEwen took a roughing penalty with 6:09 remaining in the period that was followed by an Oscar Fantenberg boarding call just 68 seconds later. Yes, you did the math right, the Blues went to the 5-on-3 powerplay for 52 seconds.

They used up almost all of those 52 seconds before Alex Pietrangelo fired a puck into the crease that bounced past Markstrom and the Blues were up 3-1 late in the period.

The Canucks were outshot 17-5 in the second period. The Canucks only attempted eight shots in the second period while the Blues attempted 29.

You knew things were bad when the Canucks Twitter account tweeted out a low danger shot GIF.

It was the most dominant period of the series and the Canucks were on their heels heading into the third period.

Third Period

The Canucks came with more energy in the third period but still, they just did not bring enough intensity. They were unable to get many scoring chances as the period as a whole was pretty slow and did not feature much to talk about.

The Canucks had a couple of powerplay chances where they seemed to look a lot less dangerous than their past three games. The Canucks were not really using Horvat in the bumper position and passed the puck through the top of their umbrella without many dangerous chances in this game.

Down by two, the Canucks pulled the goalie with three minutes remaining in the game.

The Canucks got on the powerplay once again with 1:21 left in the period.

It didn’t matter, tonight wasn’t their night and the Blues won 3-1 to tie the series up at two wins apiece and we now had a best of three series in front of us.

The Fancies

Top Performers

There really wasn’t a top performer for the Canucks in this game. The third pairing was fine I guess, so I’ll go with them. Jordie Benn looks very comfortable on the right side and Oscar Fantenberg has a pretty strong defensive game aside from taking a penalty to put the Blues on a 5-on-3 — in which they scored.

Wrap-Up

The Canucks were simply outplayed in this game. They couldn’t put together multiple passes, their cycle was broken and the powerplay couldn’t bail them out on Monday night. The team really needs to go back and watch their performance because it was not good.

They were outplayed in every aspect of the game of hockey. They had no emotional investment in this game and it showed on the ice. This team needs to get a mental reset and get back to their game like they did in game two of the series against the Minnesota Wild.

This Blues team is good, they have found their game and the Canucks have not been able to answer back. They will need to get back to the drawing board before game five if they don’t want to see this series get away from them.