After a lackluster performance in Tuesday nights game against Dallas, the Blues got some help in breaking out of their daze. The Bruins started Malcolm Subban, giving the rookie his first career start, and resting the almost unbeatable Tukka Rask who had played in 24 of the last 25 games for Boston. St. Louis came into the game 17-4-2 against the East this year and seeing a rookie net minder only helped.
The first period, though, was anything but a normal Blues period. Boston came out flying, drawing a penalty a minute and a half in and keeping the Blues from getting any offensive zone time, let a lone a shot on goal. Brad Marchand opened the scoring a little over ten minutes in with a wrister that Jake Allen thought he had but just wriggled out of his glove.
As the period continued the Bruins held onto control of the game, the Blues first shot came with 7:46 remaining and the crowd gave a sarcastic cheer when Pietrangelo steered a weak shot on goal. The only pressure the Blues put on Subban was a puck cycle and two shots on goal with 4 minutes to go in the period. To top it off, Backes took a hooking penalty with half a minute to go. The Blues finished the period being outshoot 8-3.
Whatever Coach Hitch said in the locker room lit a fire under the asses of his team because the second period was something else indeed. David Krejci took a tripping penalty at the start of the second to negate the power play and the ensuing face off went a little something like this:
Lindbohm's goal was the first goal by a defensemen in the last 12 games, but lo and behold on a 4 on 4 the gap between the next two defense goals was only about three and a half minutes.
And less then a minute later, on their third straight shot, the Blues would chase the rookie goalie with this little beauty.
Lindbohm endeared himself to Blues fans later in the period when after a hard hit on Oshie by Jordan Caron, Lindbohm stood up and fought Caron. Not many punches were thrown by the rookie defensemen but it was enough for fans to come to their feet and cheer on a potentially new underdog on the team. For some reason Caron did not get a penalty on the hit on Oshie but drew a roughing penalty elsewhere before the fight so the Blues got a power play out of it all.
The power play as of late has not been clicking like it should but Hitch threw out the five forward line again and chemistry sparked for a milestone goal.
Tarasenko is the youngest Blue to score 30 goals in a season since Shanny did it and it won't be long until he gets to 40. The Blues didn't put a lot of shots on goal in the second but they made them count, they were out-shot 11-8 but had a 50% shooting percentage which is not to shabby.
The third period was pretty academic for a team that is now 24-1-2 when leading after two periods. The Bruins had a glorious chance to climb back in the game when Patrice Bergeron took a centering feed in the slot but was stopped cold by Allen. Shortly afterward the STL line created some more magic combined with a little hustle to do this:
Boston has one last gasp with about seven minutes to play as consecutive penalties to Berglund and Jackman gave the Bruins a 5 on 3 opportunity. Pressure was applied but the only shot that got through was spirited away from the wide open net by a heady Ian Cole. The Blues would salt the game away but would end up with their lowest shot total of the season, slightly eclipsing the 18 shots they put up against Tampa. Jake Allen improved to 10-2-1 at home this year and has not lost in 2015.
The win moves the Blues to within 4 points of idle Nashville. The Blues turn right back around tomorrow night for a game against Sydney Crosby, former Blue David Perron and the Penguins.
#3 - Petteri Lindbohm - 1 Goal (First of Career)
#2 - Vladimir Tarasenko - 2 Goals (30 and 31 of season)
#1 - Alexander Steen - 3 Assists (Ties Shattenkirk for team lead in Assists)