VANCOUVER, British Columbia — For a game featuring 13 Olympians just back from Sochi, a meeting between the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena was probably more fast and furious at the start than projected.
Resuming their schedule with a three-game road trip, the Blues seemed eager to build on a season that saw them grab first place in the Central Division at the break. The Canucks, meanwhile, were desperate to snap a losing streak that stretched to seven games before the layoff.
But for all of the noise, including Ryan Reaves' deposit of Alex Edler head-first onto the ice, the clubs couldn't buy a goal until the third period. With 8 minutes, 47 seconds left in regulation, Vancouver's Jannik Hansen scored his 10th goal of the season, lifting the Canucks to a 1-0 victory over the Blues in front of a crowd of 18,910.
As it turned out, the Blues never bought a goal. After Hansen's score, they would have preferred to extend their streak of consecutive overtime games to five, but instead the club was shut out for the first time in 2013-14, in Game No. 59.
The club will continue its trip Friday in Anaheim.
Vancouver had won both matchups with the Blues this season, a 3-2 overtime win in October and a 2-1 win in January. But last month was when the Canucks began taking a turn for the worse, the start of a 4-13-2 slide, including the seven-game losing streak.
Vancouver scored just 11 goals in those seven games, dropping to No. 24 in the NHL in goals per game (2.38) and No. 28 on the power play (14 percent).
The lack of production has been most glaring on the top line. Daniel Sedin came into Wednesday's game scoreless in his last 19 games, Henrik Sedin was scoreless in 17 games and Alex Burrows' drought had reached 28 games.
The challenge was made tougher against the Blues because Ryan Kesler, who leads the Canucks with 20 goals, missed the game with a hand injury. A member of Team USA, Kesler was injured blocking a shot at the Olympics.
So Vancouver perhaps wasn't expected to take part in a high-scoring game, but the Blues, who ranked No. 2 in the league with 3.32 goals a game before the break, didn't plan on being blanked.
In fact, a scoreless first period for the Blues ended a streak of 10 consecutive games with a goal in the first frame.
Canucks goalie Eddie Lack, subbing for Olympian Roberto Luongo, received the net assignment. He carried a pedestrian mark of 8-8-3 into Wednesday's game, but two of those wins were against the Blues.
The visitors managed 17 shots through two periods, but Lack was locked in, halting Vladimir Tarasenko on a quick strike and denying Chris Stewart on a 2-on-1 with Jaden Schwartz.
The Blues' best scoring chance came on the power play late in the second period, but with Lack leaving part of the net open, Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler stuck a leg out and made a save on T.J. Oshie.
The failed power play was the Blues' second of the night, and they would fall to 0 for three on the man-advantage early in the third period. That continued a season-long drought that reached 0 for 23 Wednesday.
Fortunately for the Blues, goaltender Jaroslav Halak bounced back from a disappointing Olympic tournament, matching Lack at the other end.
Halak was particularly strong in the crease in the opening period and didn't slip, posting back-to-back 14-save periods through 40 minutes.
But in the third period, with time winding down, one miscue cost the Blues.
Derek Roy overskated the puck in the offensive zone. Tom Sestito bankhanded the puck into the neutral zone, where Hansen skated by defenseman Roman Polak and Carlo Colaiacovo and ripped a shot past Halak from an estimated 17 feet.
Lack finished with 20 saves for his first shutout of the season, the third of his career and his third win over the Blues.