The Blues returned home tonight to take on the Nashville Predators. The Blues coming off a 4-3 come from behind win against the Jets the other night look to keep that winning thing going. Nashville is coming off a 2-1 OT loss to Calgary on Tuesday. Your starting lines for tonight would see the line of Steen, Stastny and Tarasenko reunited. Paajarvi would remain with Backes and Brouwer. Fabbri, Lehtera, and Jaskin would make up your third line and Upshall, Brozdiak and Reaves would round out your forward lines. The D-parings would remain constant as Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo would be your top pairing. Gunnarsson/Parayko and Lindbohm/Shattenkirk would be the other two pairs. In goal tonight would be Jake Allen.
The Blues penalty kill coming into tonight is number one in the league. Apparently no one told the Predators this. Troy Brouwer went to the box for interference. Roman Josi puts the puck in the back of the net for a 1-0 Predators lead.
Jake Allen almost gave the Preds a 2-0 lead here as he fumbled the puck behind the net. Yikes.
Not the start that the Blues were hoping for. The Blues did have their chances though. Pekka Rinne was just as strong early on.
One of the Blues better chances came later in the period. The Tarasenko, Stastny, Steen line was back at it again. Rinne had to make a brilliant save to keep it out of the back of the net.
Despite that the Blues would trail the Preds 1-0 after one.
The second period was uneventful from a goal scoring standpoint. Not to say that the Blues didn't have their chances. Here Ryan Reaves had one of the better chances of the period when he almost banked one off a Preds skate passed Rinne
Kyle Brozdiak would go off for repairs early on in the period. Some line shuffling would take place and therefore you saw Stastny with Reaves and Upshall. Here they would generate a couple of chances against Rinne. Just couldn't solve him in the first two periods tonight.
That would be until the third period. The Blues seem to find another gear in the third, and they found it again tonight. (They're plus 15 in the third in scoring differential) The Blues seemed to have a power play early on in the period but Paul Stastny would be called for a faceoff violation. Here's the thing though...HE NEVER TOUCHED THE PUCK.
With the ensuing 4-on-4 David Backes would tie the game on a tip in from Alex Pietrangelo.
Needless to say the bad call wouldn't hurt the Blues. It was the first goal 4-on-4 for the Blues this year. It was still a bullshit call. But so is delay of game anything. But that's for another article. Whatever. Backes would net his 10th of the year. Pietrangelo (10) and Shattenkirk (16) would get the assists.
Still on the 4-on-4 Jake Allen would deny the Preds to come right back down the ice and steal the momentum back from the Blues. Here he makes two timely saves, with one of them being on the breakaway.
More Jake Allen keeping the game in check for the Blues.
Scottie Upshall (and the fourth line period) had a great game tonight. Here he does everything but score.
Side note: Brozdiak did come back in the third because he's a hockey player, yeah yeah.
Delay of game penalty again against the Blues. (Ugh) During the Preds power play Fabbri gets hit right in the helmet by Bouwmeester. Whoops. Also, Shea Weber has a wide open chance in front of the net. Only to be denied by Allen.
The Predators would get called late in the period for tripping and the Blues would take advantage. I mean it is the man advantage right? Vladimir Tarasenko. Still good at hockey. Running out of great jokes/things to say about him because he is that good. Anyway, he puts the Blues ahead 2-1 on this GREAT shot.
You can spell clutch T-a-r-a-s-e-n-k-o. It is Vladdy's 20th goal of the year. It marks the third straight season that he's scored 20 goals. Wow. Steen (19) and Stastny (8) would get the assists.
Late in the game, there would be another one of those how did that not find the back of the net moments
Seriously. But after all of that the Blues would make yet another comeback in the third and win it 2-1. While the Blues didn't play a full 60, they played well enough to win. That's certainly something to build on. That and with Tarasenko, they can sometimes get away with it. The Blues play Calgary Saturday afternoon. Go out and buy a paper and enjoy a Saturday matinee.
I also wanted to post this in case anyone missed it.
Thank you Jax. For everything. (Minus signing with a division rival. Whatever jerk.)
Third Star: Barret Jackman (Didn't do anything on the score sheet, nice gesture from the home folks tonight)
Second Star: David Backes (1 goal, Have you ever seen him and Captain America in the same room? No? Just saying)
First Star: Vladimir Tarasenko (1 goal, witty comment about how good he is here)