NHL

Canucks pick up where they left off before all-star break in victory over Blues

J.T. Miller scored a pair of second-period goals as the Vancouver Canucks fought back from an early deficit to defeat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Monday night.

J.T. Miller's pair of 2nd-period snipes lead Vancouver to 3rd win in a row

Vancouver's J.T. Miller celebrates his second goal of the second period during the Canucks' 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Thatcher Demko might have added a new category to the NHL's statistics.

The Vancouver Canucks goaltender was asked about the 23 blocked shots his teammates made in a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Monday night.

"The amount of blocks we had were pretty crazy," said Demko. "Those are man blocks. Guys are winding up with slapshots and one-timers and guys are going down.

"Huge kudos to those guys."

Demko's 36 saves also played a big part in the win. His biggest stop came late in the third period. With Vancouver clinging to a 2-1 lead, and the Blues pushing for the tying goal, he made a huge left pad save on Jaden Schwartz.

"I saw the play was kind of developing," said Demko. "I threw my left leg over. I got a piece of it. I wasn't sure how much I got of it."

J.T. Miller scored twice in the second period as Vancouver overcame an early deficit against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Captain Bo Horvat added an empty-net goal for the Canucks (28-18-4) who won for the 12th time in 15 games and extended their home winning streak to nine games. Jake Virtanen and Chris Tanev had two assists each.

WATCH | Miller's pair leads Canucks over Blues:

Thatcher Demko stopped 36 shots in Vancouver's 3-1 victory over St. Louis at home. 1:26

Zach Sanford scored for the Blues (30-12-8), who saw their winless streak extended to three games (0-2-1).

Ten of Vancouver's blocked shots came in the third period.

"Everybody sold out," said Horvat. "Everybody was throwing their bodies in front of pucks. There were so many guys sacrificing third bodies and that's what we need going forward."

The Canucks have taken five of six points off the Blues. All three games have been close.

"This time of year is about finding ways to win," said Miller. "It says a lot about your team when you do what ever it takes, guys sliding all over the ice, blocking one-timers.

"I think it's part of our team's identity. I think that's what we need coming down the stretch."

The Canucks remain first in the Pacific Division with 60 points, three more than Edmonton, Calgary, Arizona and Vegas.

St. Louis leads the Western Conference with 68 points.

The Blues' Brayden Schenn said Demko was the difference in the third period.

"Everyone had chances, everyone was cycling, everyone put up a solid effort," he said. "We had plenty of chances and at the end of the day their goalie played good and made some saves."

St. Louis coach Craig Berube agreed Demko was good, but his team could have been better.

"We can shoot the puck a little bit better maybe and capitalize on some of our chances," he said. "We were aggressive, we were strong and had the puck most of the game.

"Sometimes it goes that way."

Miller, who the Canucks obtained in a June trade with Tampa Bay, has 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 50 games this season. That's better than the 47 points, including 13 goals, he had in 75 games last year.

"I got a good opportunity here and I'm playing a lot more," he said.

Miller's first goal came after Virtanen won a puck battle along the boards. He then passed to Tanev, who fed an open Miller in the slot.

His second goal came on a pretty three-on-one. Elias Pettersson carried the puck into the St. Louis zone, slid the puck to Virtanen, who then passed to Miller. He scored from the face-off circle.

"I actually thought on the second one my stick was broken," he said. "I didn't want to push too hard and I actually fanned on it.

"I got a little lucky."

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