The Blues were back in action tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jake Allen would face Marc-Andre Fluery. The Blues would roll the forward lines of Steen/Stastny/Tarasenko, Paajarvi/Lehtera/Jaskin, Brouwer/Backes/Fabbri, and returning to the lineup Ryan Reaves with Ott and Brodziak. The D-parings would be Bouwmeester/Pietrangelo, who if they play any more minutes they might be dead by February. Gunnarsson/Shattenkirk and Bortuzzo/Parayko would be the other two parings.
The Blues started out strong tonight. Kept getting the puck in deep early and often. Fluery was just as strong though, as he has great numbers through the first part of the season. The Brouwer/Backes/Fabbri line has impressed me the little that they have been together. Played a huge part in the win in Buffalo, and early on it looked like they were going to play a big role again tonight.
The Blues never had a power play chance in Buffalo the other night. (No really. I had to look it up myself) Tonight the Blues would get one halfway through the first period. Needless to say they took advantage. Our old buddy Ian Cole would be called for interfering on David Backes. As Panger mentioned in the broadcast, it almost looked like Backes himself could have been called for something, but alas it was a Blues powerplay. Just seven seconds in Paul Stastny would make sure everyone knew he was back:
That was Stastny's second goal of the season. Also on the goal, Kevin Shattenkirk would notch his seventh point in seven games with an assist. Sidney Crosby hasn't scored against the Blues. Until tonight. The Blues had been able to contain him but when you turn the puck over in your own zone bad things happen. Carl Gunarsson made the mistake of trying to go to Shatty and Dupuis would force a turnover. It would literally be the perfect set up for Crosby to bury it past Allen to tie the game at one.
If the Blues could skip the second period and go straight to the third they probably would. Unfortunately, the NHL doesn't allow for that. Stastny would at least give fans a glimmer of hope that the second period tonight would be different. He gets undoubtedly the best chance of the period early on:
Fluery absolutely robs the Blues of a 2-1 lead. The Blues would fall to the lifelessness we've seen from them in the second for the last few games. The Penguins however did not receive the stop playing in the second memo. Crosby would again get one past Allen.
Jaskin would get called for hooking (not the Vegas variety) and give the Pens their second power play of the night. The first one was killed off fairly well by the Blues. As you can see the second one, not so much. The Pens would lead 2-1 after two.
Remember earlier when I said the Brouwer/Backes/Fabbri line looked like they were going to do big things tonight? Just over a minute into the third Fabbri would wrist one right past Fluery to tie the game at two.
Pietrangelo would get the puck and feed it up to Fabbri who would bury it for his fourth goal of the year. But right back would come the Pens as they were on another power play. Crosby was really trying to get that hat trick tonight
Jake Allen would hold firm and deny him of that tonight. However, the Pens would take the lead from a goal from...Ben Lovejoy?
Yep, it sure was. And just like that the Pens are back up to a one goal lead. Former Blue David Perron would get an assist on the play and somehow did NOT commit an offensive zone penalty. Color me shocked.
The Blues would come back (or roar bacon, whatever) yet again though. Pietrangelo would tie the game on a shot that Fluery seemed to have initially. But he didn't have enough of it as it squeaks through and gives Petro his second goal of the year. Stastny and Steen would get the assists.
There you have it. The Blues lose 4-3 in overtime. They would come back to get a point but fall on a goal by Evgeni Malkin. The Blues don't play again until Saturday as they take on the Blue Jackets.
3rd: Paul Stastny (1 goal, 1 assist. Someone still thinks he sucks)
2nd: Evgeni Malkin (1 goal, 1 assist. Saved our hearts from a full 5 minutes of 3 on 3.)
1st: Sidney Crosby (2 goals. Has free candy painted on side of van somewhere)