The same went for the rest of his team.
After he was pulled off the top line early in the first period for
poor play, Santorelli scored at 5:56 of the third period to give the
Canucks a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. In the process, he
helped the Canucks (24-13-9) end their losing their streak at five
games and nixed a personal scoring drought that had lasted over the
"The chances have been there, and it was nice to finally get one,"
He received credit for the winner after defenseman Jason Garrison's
shot went in off him following a botched St. Louis clearing attempt
during a scramble.
The Canucks prevailed after squandering late leads in recent games.
In their previous contest, Vancouver allowed Pittsburgh to overcome
a late two-goal deficit and win in a shootout.
"We needed to get that done," said Santorelli, after the Canucks
staved off the Blues' persistent efforts to tie the contest in the
While Vancouver ended its losing skid, the Blues (31-8-5) saw their
winning streak end at seven games. They lost on the road for the
first time in 10 away contests.
"We had all our chances in the first period, when it looked like
they still had the debris left over from the previous game," said
St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock. "And if we would have taken advantage
of that, it would have been a different game."
Forward Zac Dalpe also scored for the Canucks. Defenseman Frank
Pietrangelo tallied for the Blues.
Vancouver goaltender Eddie Lack stopped 30 of 31 shots, while St.
Louis netminder Brian Elliott recorded 20 saves on 22 shots.
The Canucks were blanked on two power plays, and the Blues failed to
score on their lone man-advantage attempt.
"It stops the bleeding for a day (or) two," said Canucks coach John
Tortorella. "I thought after a really tentative first period we
started playing better. You could see we were fighting some
confidence. Hopefully, this will help us a little bit as we try to
get some traction here."
The Blues were playing their second of back-to-back games, but it
was the Canucks who struggled in the first period. The Canucks
committed careless errors and looked lethargic as the Blues,
displaying a strong forecheck from the get-go, enjoyed a big edge in
shots in the early going.
As a result, Santorelli, a journeyman free agent signing who has
been a pleasant surprise since training camp lost his spot alongside
Daniel and Henrik Sedin because he was "fighting it" in the coach's
[to top of second column]
But Santorelli was not the only one who ticked Tortorella off. He
revamped all four of his forward units.
"I don't think we played that well early, so we just changed
things up," said Tortorella.
St. Louis outshot the Canucks 12-5 in the first 20 minutes, but
the Blues were unable to beat Lack, who was sharp while his
teammates were not.
After struggling in the first period, Dalpe looked at home on
the top line 1:31 into the second period as he deflected in
winger Daniel Sedin's pass to put the Canucks on the scoreboard
Pietrangelo drew the Blues even at 7:49 of the second as he
barely kept fellow defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's off-kilter pass
along the blue-line inside the Canucks' zone and blasted a slap
shot past a screened Lack.
The Blues tried to wage a frantic rally at the end with Elliott
pulled for an extra attacker, but the Canucks managed to hold
them off, thanks largely to timely saves from Lack, who was
sharp throughout the game.
"We've talked a lot about (the need to) close games out," said
Lack. "I think this is really important for the confidence, to
show that we can close things again and get the win."
NOTES: Blues D Jay Bouwmeester, the NHL's active ironman, played
in his 680th consecutive NHL game and Canucks C Henrik Sedin,
who ranks second in that category, played in his 675th straight.
But Sedin did not take faceoffs because of an apparent injury
that coach John Tortorella has refused to discuss. ... G Eddie
Lack started in place of injured No. 1 G Roberto Luongo (ankle)
for the third straight game and for the eighth time in the past
nine. Luongo, who was named to Canada's Olympic team, returned
for one game from an undisclosed injury but was hurt again. ...
Blues C Alex Steen, the team's top scorer, missed his ninth
consecutive game with a concussion. ... Canucks LW David Booth
was a healthy scratch for the second straight game, but RW Dale
Weise returned to the lineup after being scratched against
Pittsburgh. ... St. Louis C Max Lapierre played his first game
in Vancouver after leaving the Canucks as a free agent during
the summer. ... Vancouver LW Tom Sestito played in the 100th
game of his NHL career.
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