Kyle Brodziak of the St. Louis Blues fires a shot at Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom as Scottie Upshall and defenders Troy Stecher (51) and Markus Granlund (60) look on during NHL action Saturday at Rogers Arena. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Boeser scores 20th goal, but Brodziak’s two-point night leads Blues over Canucks

Vancouver 1-7-1 in last nine games

VANCOUVER (CP) — The St. Louis Blues put a damper on Brock Boeser’s milestone night.

Kyle Brodziak scored the winner and added an assist as St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the slumping Vancouver Canucks.

Patrik Berglund and Alex Steen, into an empty net, had the other goals for St. Louis (23-13-2), which got 30 saves from Jake Allen.

Boeser, with his team-leading 20th of the season, replied for Vancouver (15-17-5), which has lost four in a row (0-3-1), and is just 1-7-1 over its last nine.

The 20-year-old Boeser leads all NHL rookies in goals, and became the fastest Canucks rookie to reach the 20-goal mark, doing it in just his 34th game.

“It means a lot, but it’s obviously a lot better if we’re getting the results we want,” said Boeser, who has 24 goals in 43 career games after his cameo at the tail end of last season. ”It’s a tough stretch right now. This (Christmas) break will be nice to regroup.”

It took Pavel Bure 49 games to reach 20 goals in his rookie season with Vancouver in 1991-92. To put Boeser’s impressive start another way, Canucks No. 1 centre Bo Horvat — currently out with a broken foot — led the team with 20 goals in 81 games last season.

Boeser is also fifth in the NHL in goals so far in 2017-18, trailing just Nikita Kucherov (24), Alex Ovechkin (23), Anders Lee (22) and John Tavares (21).

“It’s impressive,” said Vancouver head coach Travis Green. ”His details away from the puck are a big part of why he’s having success.”

Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 shots for the Canucks, but allowed suspect goals to Berglund and Brodziak — a trend that’s plagued the club during its current slide.

“It’s tough when you lose a game … and you want both goals back,” said Markstrom. ”I’ve got to be better.”

The Blues, meanwhile, head into the break with a much-needed win after dropping three straight in regulation on a road trip through Western Canada.

“We knew we weren’t far off,” said St. Louis head coach Mike Yeo. ”It’s been a grind. I’m glad the guys get a little time to rest up physically and mentally.”

Tied 1-1 late in the second, Brodziak put the Blues ahead after firing a puck from the bottom of the face-off circle that somehow slipped past Markstrom shortside with 90 seconds left in the period for his sixth.

“He had a couple that he’d like to have back,” Green said of his goalie. “He’s played really well at times this year. He’s fighting that one goal here and there.”

Markstrom was stellar for most of the period otherwise, stopping both Steen and Paul Stastny on breakaways before again thwarting Steen with a nice save moments after his gaffe on Brodziak.

St. Louis hit the post three times in third period, while Boeser had two good chances off the rush that had Rogers Arena buzzing, but Allen was there to make the save both times — including the second one where the Blues netminder just got a piece of the puck with his left shoulder.

“Watching some tape, he’s got such a hard and good release that I don’t think it’s a reactionary save,” said Allen. “It’s a positional save. If you try to wave your glove at it, he’s probably going to beat you most of the time.

“There are guys like that in the league that you more or less have to be positioned, and he’s one of those guys. He’s got a bunch of goals for a reason. He’s got a great shot.”

The Canucks continued to push, but couldn’t find a way through before Steen scored into an empty net with 52.3 seconds left as St. Louis improved to 19-0-0 this season when leading after 40 minutes.

Down 1-0 after the first, Boeser evened things at 1:46 of the second on a slick passing play where Sam Gagner fed Thomas Vanek, who went back against the grain to find the wide-open phenom.

“(Vanek) is such a good playmaker,” said Boeser. ”I knew he was going to pass it to me there because I skate with him in the summers.

“I’ve just got to learn from him now and make some of those passes.”

The Blues opened the scoring at 11:17 of a sleepy first when Berglund wheeled out of the corner and let go a fluttering backhand from the high slot that beat Markstrom for his fifth.

“I just kind of fanned on it,” said Markstrom. ”It’s on me.”

Vancouver had another great opportunity later in the period, but Alex Biega found iron on a shot from the point, and Markus Granlund hit the other post on the rebound before Allen smothered the puck on the goal line.

“It’s a fine line between winning and losing,” said Green. “That was a hard-fought game.

“(It) probably could have gone either way, and we’re on the wrong side of it.”

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancovuer Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

L to R - Westshore Towing owner dave LeQuesne and Peninsula Towing owners Meghan and Don Affleck believe the cost of dealing with abandoned vehicles, boats, Rvs and campers is a significant financial burden. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Towing the line: Vancouver Island tow truck operators at a loss with abandoned vehicles

Dealing with derelict boats, RVs, trailers, vehicles adds up to thousands in uncompensated costs

Lyric John-Cliffe and Cory Cliffe sing a traditional Laichkwiltach canoe song by the Campbell River Estuary. Photo by Binny Paul/Campbell River Mirror
Learning the land: restoration and education collide on the Campbell River estuary

Wei Wai Kum First Nation project passing the baton of environmental stewardship to seven generations

Comox Valley Unhoused executive director Sam Franey, right, is pictured at the Comox Valley Art Gallery with Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, and Ronna-Rae Leonard, BC NDP candidate for the Courtenay—Comox riding. Scott Stanfield photo
Housing, for the unhoused, by the unhoused

Comox Valley man dedicated to battling homelessness after spending five years on the streets

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Facebook photo)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

An artists rendering of the proposed Aragon Properties development in Sooke’s town centre shows a friendly, walkable neighbourhood. (Contributed graphic)
Large housing development eyed for Sooke core

Aragon Properties seeks to build 132 housing units

The Capital Regional District spent $1.7 million to restore the Todd Creek Trestle. (Sooke News Mirror)
Todd Creek Trestle restoration completed

Restoration work adds 35 to 50 years to life span of former rail span near Sooke

Bill Kelly, general manager at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community, has been named executive professional of the year by the PGA of BC. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay golf course, general manager earn PGA of BC awards

Crown Isle’s manager, facility honoured by the industry

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read