VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Cory Schneider got plenty of work in his return to the Vancouver Canucks’ net for the first time in five games.
Schneider made 32 saves in the Canucks’ 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. He helped Vancouver regain a share of the Northwest Division lead with Minnesota one night after the Canucks lost to the Wild.
The Blues outshot the Canucks 34-19 as Vancouver managed only a total of five shots in the first and third periods.
“It was good to see a couple shots early and get into it and not just be standing around for 10 minutes,” Schneider said. “I have been working hard and feel I have been ready to make this start, and I needed a win.
“It’s been a while for me.”
Schneider posted a victory for the first time since March 2 against Los Angeles, improving to 7-5-3. He was ticketed as Vancouver’s No. 1 goalie this season after displacing Roberto Luongo in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
But the two goalies have shared the duties after the Canucks didn’t trade Luongo in the offseason as expected.
After being badly outshot in the first period, the Canucks scored three unanswered goals in the second, but were outplayed in the third.
“You need great goaltending to win in this league,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. “We were looking for our legs and our hands in the first period, and he permitted us to find them and be real good in the second.”
Daniel Sedin led the Canucks with a goal and an assist. Jannik Hansen and Dale Weise also scored for Vancouver (14-9-6), which ended a two-game skid.
“Our goalie was hands down the best player on the ice,” Weise said. “He made some absolutely huge saves to bail some guys out, including myself, and you can’t say enough good things about him.”
Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund both scored in the third period for the Blues (16-11-2), who lost for only the second time in seven games. St. Louis had won three straight with rookie goalie Jake Allen. He stopped 16 Canucks shots.
The Blues outshot the Canucks 34-19. Vancouver managed only a total of five shots in the first and third periods.
“We played a good 40 minutes, but the other 20 minutes cost us the game,” Berglund said.
The Blues enjoyed a 15-3 edge in shots in the opening period. Then after being outshot 14-6 in the second, the Blues held a 13-2 advantage in the third.
“Our coaches weren’t happy, obviously, with the second when they came back in (the dressing room),” Blues forward David Perron said. “I think we responded the right way. But when you’re down three goals there, it’s a tough league to come back in, and there was just not enough there.”
Perron said the Blues didn’t take the Canucks lightly in the second period.
“We know they’re a good team,” Perron said. “I don’t know what happened, but it’s something we’ll have to talk about in here, in the room, and move on to the next game in Edmonton.”
Schneider started after watching the previous four games from the bench. He was kept busy in a scoreless first period as the Blues outshot the Canucks 15-3.
He made saves on Perron from left wing and Alex Pietrangelo from the right point. After retrieving his own rebound, Perron sent the puck to Pietrangelo.
Later in the period, he robbed Pietrangelo from short range with his glove and foiled Andy McDonald, who returned to the Blues lineup after missing 10 games with a knee injury.
Hansen opened the scoring 2:30 into the second period when he took a cross-ice pass from Mason Raymond in the neutral zone, skated over the blue line and beat Allen with a slap shot.
The goal came on Vancouver’s sixth shot of the game. Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead less than two minutes later when he fired in brother Henrik’s angle pass from behind the goal line.
Daniel Sedin ended his scoring drought at eight games.
Weise, known for fisticuffs rather than scoring dexterity, extended Vancouver’s lead to 3-0 midway through the second period on a nifty play. He took a spin-around forehand pass from Jordan Schroeder and then deked Allen while skating across the goal mouth.
It was Weise’s second goal of the season and first in 11 games.
“We were on the same page (in the second period),” Daniel Sedin said. “First period, we were so spread out, and talked about it in the intermission and got things under control.”
The Blues got on the scoreboard just over five minutes into the third period when Vladimir Tarasenko’s shot bounced in off Schwartz, cutting their deficit to 3-1.
Berglund pulled St. Louis within a goal at 13:38 of the third as Kris Russell’s shot bounced to him off the back of Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev’s head.
The Canucks received a power play with 3:06 left in the third period as Vladimir Sobotka was called for holding. The whistle finally blew after the Canucks had a prolonged delayed penalty, struggled to get the puck up the ice with an extra attacker. Kevin Bieksa just missed the net as he tried to put in a pass from Raymond.
St. Louis was blanked on three power plays. The Canucks were unsuccessful on two. NOTES: The Canucks lost forward Zack Kassian to an injury in the first period. He had returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing the previous two games with a sore back. He fought St. Louis forward Chris Stewart, the NHL’s first star of the week, less than three minutes in. … Vancouver forward Andrew Ebbett was scratched, and David Booth remains out indefinitely with a leg injury. … Stewart played his 300th NHL game. … Blues forward T.J. Oshie missed his third consecutive game with a rib injury. He is expected to return Saturday in Edmonton.