Blues Powerplay Falls Short: Vancouver Wins Game One

Jason Besancenez@https://twitter.com/jasonbesancenezContributor IApril 16, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 15: David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues plays the puck while being closely watched by Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at General Motors Place on April 15, 2009 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Nick Didlick/Getty Images)

Special teams were supposed to be a key factor for the success of the St.Louis Blues in this round one playoff series against the Canucks.

But instead for the Blues the power play well was dry last night in Vancouver. The Blues had seven power play chances (including a five on three). They only converted on one where Brad Boyes waited till the second period to tally his first postseason notch.

Daniel Sedin scored Vancouver's first goal on a delayed penalty at 10:03 of the first period, assisted by Demitra, and Edler.

The Canucks then struck again in the second period when Sami Salo's slap shot found its way into the net for a powerplay goal, assisted by Daniel, and Henrik Sedin.

That put Vancouver in the driver's seat for the rest of the game.

Brad Boyes finally put one on the board for St.Louis in the second to cut the lead to 2-1 Vancouver.

But St.Louis was out-shot in the third period 15-6 by the Canucks.

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St.Louis coach Andy Murray mixed his lines up in the second period, and it did create more Canucks penalties. But the Blues just could'nt capitalize on the chances.

Robert Luongo played very solidly once again to get the victory. He stopped Andy McDonald twice in the game on two good chances.

"I did'nt get it up, he did a good job getting over, but I have to get the puck up," said McDonald.

Luongo stopped 25 out of 26 shots by the Blues. While Chris Mason also played pretty steady, and stopped 29 of 31 shots by the Canucks.

Vancouver gave St.Louis a massive amount of chances by taking so many penalties.

St.Louis will have to make some adjustments on Friday in order to steal a road victory.

Vancouver is 14-1-1 at home since Feb.1 , so St.Louis will have to execute when they have these chances.

"This game was about encouragement rather than discouragement," Murray said. "The first 40 minutes we had multiple opportunities and our power play couldn't take advantage. But you get power plays because you fore-check and play hard."

I would assume the Blues will make the right adjustments, and bounce back for the next game. That's one thing St. Louis has done very well this year. They know that last game is over, and they focus on the game at hand. That's one mindset that got them where they are now.

Andy Murray isn't coach of the year for his good looks! It's solely because he knows what he's doing.

The Kid Line (Perron, Oshie, Berglund) will have to pick up their play in order for this team to win games.   

Perron only had two shots and four penalty minutes.

Oshie had one shot and two penalty minutes.

Berglund had just one shot also and two penalty minutes.

Another key note is that St. Louis will have to stop Daniel Sedin; he had six shots on goal.

Vancouver used their big forwards to create confusion in front of Mason. That is exactly what St. Louis will have to do in order to get anything past Luongo.

Vancouver had a total of 11 penalties in the first game (St.Louis had nine).

I think if either team wants to remain successful in the playoffs, they will have to refrain from so many players sitting in the box. 

One good thing for St. Louis was that Chris Mason played a great game and kept his team in the game.

As long as Mason continues his good play. His team will find ways to get the puck in the net. It's a matter of time before the offense will have the game-plan that is the answer against this tough Vancouver team.

Go Blues!

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