Time will tell if the Blues can replicate enough from that last run to defend their Stanley Cup, but if nothing else, Ryan O’Reilly continues to look like a Conn Smythe and Selke Trophy winner. O’Reilly loomed large over the Blues beating the Canucks 3-1 in Game 4, tying the series 2-2.

Late in the first period, Ryan O’Reilly set the tone with a 1-0 power-play goal. The Blues would end up scoring twice on the man advantage during Game 4, while keeping what had been a red-hot Canucks unit in check. St. Louis managed a 2-for-5 output on the PP, while Elias Pettersson & Co. were shut down (0-for-7) after causing all sorts of problems for the Blues earlier in the series.

(Through three games, the Canucks went 6-for-11 while the Blues managed just a 2-for-11 success rate. Obviously, the Blues closed much of the gap in Game 4.)

O’Reilly ended up with three points (two goals and one assist), including this backhand beauty that stood as the game-winner:

As this series goes along, it seems like the Blues are starting to throw their weight around. The second period ended up quite one-sided, as St. Louis managed a 17-5 SOG advantage. Overall, the Blues fired 37 shots on goal, while holding the Canucks to 23 in Game 4.

While Jake Allen didn’t need to steal this one, he’s won both of his starts during this First Round series. Perhaps he’ll give the Blues the sort of confidence in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs that Jake Binnington did during that 2019 Stanley Cup run?

That remains to be seen, but either way, this series is now a “best-of-three” being that it is tied 2-2.

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Canucks 5, Blues 2 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Canucks 4, Blues 3 (OT) (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Blues 3, Canucks 2 (OT) (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: St. Louis at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Vancouver at St. Louis, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Friday, Aug. 21: St. Louis at Vancouver – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Vancouver at St. Louis – TBD

*if necessary

• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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