The St Louis Blues missed a chance to go clear at the top of the Central Division when they lost 1-0 in Vancouver on Wednesday, as the Canucks resumed from the Olympic break with an impressive and overdue victory.
Jannik Hansen scored the game’s only goal and Eddie Lack made 20 saves for the Canucks, who had lost seven straight games heading into the break, and the victory gave them sole ownership of a playoff-yielding eighth place in the Western Conference.
In the day’s other key game, the Los Angeles Kings came from behind to win a 10-goal game in Colorado.
St Louis, who have lost three straight against Vancouver this season, remain level on points with Chicago in the Central Division, but they do have two games in hand.
Hansen broke a scoreless deadlock at 11 minutes, 13 seconds of the third period. He took a backhand stretch pass from Tom Sestito from deep in the Vancouver zone just past center ice, raced in on a breakaway and netted a high shot.
Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar had two goals, including the decisive score in the third period, as the Kings beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-4.
Kopitar’s second goal put the Kings, who trailed by two goals midway through the second period, back in front.
Justin Williams added an empty-net goal with 11 seconds left to round out the scoring.
Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist scored on a rebound with 28 seconds left in overtime to give the Red Wings a 2-1 win in Montreal against the Canadiens.
Buffalo’s Matt D’Agostini outraced a Boston opponent to a loose puck and scored 22 seconds into overtime, lifting the Sabres to a 5-4 win over the Bruins.