The final score should have been much more lopsided, but you can't complain when a goalie turns in a performance like Jaroslav Halak did tonight.
This should have been a game that the Blues flat-out dominated, and at times it looked like they would. Still, offensive problems seem to continue for the team, and it's questionable as to why. One thing that wasn't questionable was that Chris Stewart's conditioning is really, really contributing to his improved quality of play. Also, contract year. Whatever the cause, the opening goal of the game was a salvo that caught everyone off gaurd.
That was Stewart's seventh goal of the year and Kevin Shattenkirk's 14th assist. He leads all defensemen by a wide margin in assists and he leads all defensemen in points with 15. Alex Steen's assist was his 12th of the year.
The Columbus Blue Jackets aren't exactly known for tremendous goaltending, but Sergei Bobrovsky stood tall in net against the Blues. You could practically feel how much the Blues wanted to stop their home losing streak. They had 13 shots on goal in the second period to Columbus' three, and the pressure was tremendous. The issue here is that the Blues didn't look like they could track the puck if their lives depended on it, and weren't centered enough to score on some tremendous chances. It could have been the damn glow puck and they would have whiffed on it at some point. Witness:
It got a little frustrating to watch the Blues miss on chance after chance, but when they went on the power play due to a Sean Collins high-sticking call, they'd have a chance to score. Right?
If by "they" you meant the Blue Jackets, then yes.
What a trickler that Halak should have had. It's hard to question Halak's performance, since this is the only regulation goal that he's given up in the two games since he's been back. His goaltending for the rest of the game was stellar, but after how much effort the Blues put into the second period, it was still frustrating to see.
The third period looked like the Blues' perfunctory "period off," with the Blues' first shot not coming until 9:51 of the period. Thankfully, the shot resulted in a David Perron goal.
The goal was Perron's sixth, but it almost wasn't enough for the Blues to avoid extra time. With a minute and 43 seconds left to play, Barret Jackman was called for boarding while chasing down a puck to avoid an icing call. The Blue Jackets were on the power play, and they were hell bound and determined to score. Not if Jaroslav Halak had anything to say about it:
That save kept the Jackets from getting a point, and ensured the Blues were going to get two in the standings. With the win the Blues are back to being second in the Central Division standings, albiet still nine points behind the steamrolling Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues get to try to stop that steamroller on Thursday, when the Hawks come to Scottrade Center.