Series (Game 1 of 4)

Vancouver leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 22nd
Game 2: Thursday, November 6th
Game 3: Thursday, January 29th
Game 4: Saturday, February 28th

Blues 2

(3-2-1, 7 pts)

Canucks 3

(4-2-0, 9 pts)

10:30 PM ET, October 22, 2003

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
STL 1 1 02
VAN 1 0 23

M. Ohlund (Canucks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. King (Canucks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Demitra (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

VancuRookie scores winner on 2-man advantage

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- With one big hit, Todd Bertuzzi changed the game and jump-started an old rivalry with St. Louis.

With three minutes left and the game tied, Bertuzzi caught Barret Jackman with his head down and knocked the Blues defenseman out of the game. Five St. Louis penalties later, rookie Jason King scored on a two-man power play with 12.7 seconds left, lifting the Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Blues on Wednesday night.

It was the teams' first meeting since the Canucks overcame a 3-1 series deficit to knock St. Louis out in the first round of last season's playoffs.

After the Vancouver forward leveled Jackman behind the Blues net, Chris Pronger tackled Bertuzzi in the corner and had to be pulled away by officials, but said afterward he only trying to play the puck.

Pronger, who received four minutes in penalties and a 10-minute misconduct, insisted he wasn't trying to exact revenge for what he called a clean hit.

"If I was sticking up for him I would have fought him. I was playing the puck and he dove," Pronger said of the 245-pound Bertuzzi. "I put my arm around to spin him and he flops down like he's 120 pounds. I'm surprised to get a penalty for something he did two minutes earlier to Murray Baron."

Jackman went straight to the locker room with an apparent arm injury, and Pronger followed him with four minutes in penalties and a 10-minute misconduct.

Murray Baron and Jeff Finley were then both whistled for slashing with 1:28 left, leaving the Blues with one defenseman and giving the Canucks a two-man advantage for the remainder of the game.

King batted in his third goal of the season on a rebound from the top of the crease during a scramble to keep the Canucks perfect in four home games.

"It was a big scramble," King said of his third NHL goal. "We were just battling hard in front. I was lucky to get a good bounce and I got a good backhand off."

Mattias Ohlund tied the game with a power-play goal midway through the third period, and Dan Cloutier overcame an early soft goal to finish with 20 saves.

Defenseman Brent Sopel also scored for Vancouver, but he put a puck in his own net to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead 8:01 into the second period.

Sopel, who opened the scoring on a first-period power play, was trying to knock down Pavol Demitra's backdoor pass to Keith Tkachuk. Instead, he knocked the puck straight up and then swiped it out of the air and into the net.

The Blues, already missing injured defensemen Al MacInnis, Alexander Khavanov, Christian Laflamme and Bryce Salvador, said Jackman would return to St. Louis Thursday instead of accompanying them to Calgary for the conclusion of a three-game road trip.

"I think you have to respond to a hit like Bertuzzi's and we used pretty good restraint, Blues coach Joel Quenelle said. "It's one of those hits you can hurt guys. (Bertuzzi) sees him with his head down, he's a big guy, he'll never go in there first looking for the puck when he might absorb a hit like that."

Bertuzzi defended his hit.

"He came around the net with his head down and you've got to finish your checks. It was a clean hit," Bertuzzi said. "You hate to see guys go down. He s a good guy and he works hard and plays hard and he'd do it to me in a heartbeat."

Christian Beckman also scored for the Blues, who played one night after overcoming a 3-0 deficit to beat Edmonton 6-4 on Tuesday. It was Beckman's first NHL goal

Chris Osgood made 25 saves for St. Louis

Game notes

Canucks general manager Brian Burke is scheduled to meet with Seattle-based owner John McCaw Jr. on Thursday to discuss a proposed contract extension for Bertuzzi, who is in the final year of his deal. ... Vancouver LW Magnus Arvedson played his 400th NHL game. ... Canucks LW Brad May served his one-game suspension for cross-checking Buffalo defenseman Jay McKee in the face on Monday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press