On the back half of a back-to-back, the Blues didn't have their A game with them once again. Luckily, Jake Allen did, earning his 2nd shut out of the season.
The Blues and Devils spent much of the first 2 periods trading possessions, neither team taking much control. The Blues didn't look as gassed as they have in past back-to-backs - in fact they looked better coming out of the gate than they did just last night - but they were still seemingly skating through mud for much of the game. Luckily, the New Jersey Devils and their roster with the average age of approximately 58.4 are probably the one team least equipped to take advantage of such team fatigue.
The Devils did have a golden opportunity early in the first period. Patrik Elias (seriously? he's still playing?) picked Ian Cole's pocket at the blueline, starting a 2-on-1 with Michael Ryder. Elias fed it to Ryder past a diving Barret Jackman, who tried to bang it home under the crossbar. Instead, Allen got the edge of his glove on it and pushed it up just enough to get it over the pipe and land on the top of the goal for a whistle.
Other than that, there wasn't too much to write home about. Both Allen and Corey Schneider were rock solid in their nets, but neither were challenged too heavily either.
Then in the 3rd period, Marek Zidlicky was called for holding Alexander Steen in the crease, giving the Blues their third power play opportunity of the night. BFFs Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko played a little back and forth pong from behind the net to the right boards, until Tank moved inside and wristed home a shot from the faceoff dot past Schneider to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
Jersey got another chance at a power play to tie it after Chris Porter got a whistle for a slewfoot - an unintentional, though still completely illegal slewfoot - but St. Louis held tight to keep the clean sheet and secure 4 points from 2 games in the Tri-State Area.
- Frank now has 9 points in 5 games, 14 for the season. His shooting percentage is hovering just over 15%, which even for him seems a bit unsustainable, but he shoots so much and creates and drives possession and...but what am I telling you guys for? You knew all of that.
- What's slightly worrisome is that Tank is pretty much the Blues entire offense at the moment. Injuries are playing a part in that sure, and the law of averages say that David Backes and Steener & Co will get their scoring up sooner or later, but the sooner the better.
- Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester had another rough night, posting Corsi ratings of -14 and -11. Granted that'll happen sometimes when you're starting only 8% of your even strength shifts in the offensive zone, and unlike at The Garden last night their struggles didn't lead to any goals against, but it goes without saying that more is expected out of those two, especially when the NBCSports crew spent most of the broadcast touting them as the best blueline pairing in the NHL. (When they weren't mispronouncing Petro's name, that is.)
- I could bitch more about little things or things that could lead to trouble down the road, but in the end the Blues just won their 6th straight, getting a regulation win on the road against a quality opponent on a night when they were collectively far from their best. Drink it in, it goes down smooth.
- Jake Allen would pull over on the side of the highway to help you change your flat tire. #JakeAllenSigns
The Blues are back at it on Thursday night to start a 5 game home stand against...no this can't be right, the Devils? Again? Well damn.
In the mean time, express yourself democratically.