On a night the Blues celebrated their goaltending heritage by having three legendary goalies of the past in town, the current man of the net put on a show to help steal a win against Montreal. After being hit with Kevin Shattenkirk's stick, enduring three root canals and a gash that ran from lip to chin, Alex Steen would be in the lineup tonight. The pregame ceremonies had the crowd whipped up with Mike Liut, Grant Fuhr, and Curtis Joseph on the ice while Charles Glenn belted out O, Canada and the National Anthem.
Robby Fabbri didn't let the fans sit back down as just 34 seconds in, he would net the Blues first goal in the first minute of a game this year.
Fabbri did most of the work to set himself up for the goal and what a preview of the future we have if you line up Lehtera, Fabbri and Tarasenko on a line.
Brian Elliot would look sharp early on and he would have to be as the game wore on. Montreal would take a firm grasp on the rest of the period as the Blues couldn't sustain much pressure. Ty Rattie and Patrik Berglund would both take hooking penalties in the period but Elliott was there to turn all shots aside and he had plenty to turn away as Montreal put 18 shots on in the first.
The Blues would get some momentum near the end of the first by finally getting a cycle working deep in the Montreal zone. A scramble in front of the net ensued but the puck just didn't the right place to sneak through for a two goal lead. The period would end with the Blues out shot 18-8 but up 1-0.
Hoo Boy would this period be interesting. Chris Butler would go off at the one minute mark with one of those dumb delay of game calls when he swatted the puck out of the air and it found the seats. The Blues were unperturbed, though, and actually put three quality chances on Mike Condon including Steen ringing one of the goalies mask. But then Paul Stastny would get called for a border line trip and the Canadians had a 5 on 3.
Elliott would come up huge on David Desharnais point blank in the slot and you just thought the Blues could kill this off and keep the lead. Then Kevin Shattenkirk broke his stick on a clearing attempt, his own guy couldn't push the puck out of the zone and then P.K. Subban 'flubbed'? a shot on net that was deflected by a Blues stick.
Almost looked like Shatty had a chance to clear it with his glove but his own guy pushed him away. Elliott had no chance on this once it was deflected but it was still disheartening that he couldn't get the shut out.
The Blues finally received their first power play but not much came of it as only one shot was put on Condon. Max Pacioretty would put the Canadians ahead shortly after when a face-off loss and poor marking left him wide open and he roofed a shot on Elliott.
I know I was thinking, oh great here we go again, Blues score first and then give up a bunch and don't score again. But thankfully I was wrong, and wrong quickly. Rattie and Berglund would hook up and feed Colton Parayko who fired a wrist shot toward the net. The puck deflected off a Canadians stick, just like Subban's goal, nicked off of Paul Stastny's jersey string and went in.
If you saw how Stastny gets credit for the goal please magnify it in the comments because I didn't see it.
Things got REAL interesting after that goal. Brenden Gallagher had been a pest all game but hadn't done anything too serious up to this point. Then he got bumped into Elliott by Edmundson, which knocked him into the net and on to the ice. Well the Blues didn't like that and started teeing off on him. Before you know it David Backes and Tomas Plekanec are at each others throats, Troy Brouwer and Pacioretty are fighting but not fighting and Pietrangelo declared a vendetta against Gallagher. In the end 14 penalty minutes were handed out and Montreal somehow got a power play.
It didn't end there either, Alexei Emelin would absolutely destroy Stastny with a legal body check at center ice and Petro went nuts again. First he knocked Emelin down from behind and then he went right for Gallagher earning him another roughing penalty. Then Shattenkirk would take offense to Plekanec embellishing a push from Parayko and would tackle him earning a double minor and 10 minute misconduct to boot.
Lost in all of this was the fact that the Blues gave up 22 shots in the period, were out shot 22-7 and somehow ended up tied at 2 as we entered the third.
Much like the last game in Montreal, the Canadians were content to chip and chase and the first half of the period was pretty boring. The Blues were frustrated and fell out of their game play, trying to draw penalties instead of dumping the puck in and generating a cycle.
The Blues finally got their second power play of the game when Alexander Steen would compel Emelin to haul him down. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the Blues they had an extra man because they got absolute crap going in the two minutes. Zero shots and zero zone time equals a very disappointed fan base.
Plekanec would seemingly end the misery when he costed into the zone with his stick cocked and ready for a pass from Pacioretty which he buried past Elliott for a 3-2 lead.
So inevitably, what happens next you say?
Wait, who was that? Was that Rattie out there when we were down one? You could almost hear Hitch channeling Darth Vader "NNNOOOOOOOOOO". But alas Rattie, with his parents in the rink nonetheless, knotted this game up at 3. Maybe he plays a bit more now?
Montreal wasn't just going to roll over and play for overtime though and Elliott had to fend off a few more choice chances before the horn sounded sending us to overtime for the 5th time in the last 7 games.
Montreal would get the first good look after a turnover in the offensive zone allowed Plekanec to walk in and use Stastny as a screen to put a shot on Elliott. Brian would just turn it aside like yep my idol is in the stands so that shit ain't going in.
With the multitude of injuries the pairing of Jori Lehtera and Robby Fabbri on the ice in OT probably wouldn't happen but tonight it was pure magic. Andrei Markov would turn the puck over at center and Fabbri would race over to corral the puck. A toe drag would send Alex Galchenyuk flying into the boards and Fabbri had a partial break. Markov would drape himself over Fabbri's back preventing him from getting a shot off but the puck slid to Lehtera who waited out Condon and slipped the puck under the pad for the win.
Out shot 49 to 22, penalized 32 minutes to 12, and losing 36 faceoffs the Blues somehow collected both points tonight. While Montreal isn't the same team the Blues played before, neither are the Blues the same and this speaks volumes about what this team can be. Now maybe they were running the system the right way or maybe a goalie stole a win but either way the Blues got two much needed points that keep them 5 points back of Chicago and only 3 behind Dallas.
The Blues are in action Monday night against Crosby, Malkin and the Penguins. Puck drops at 7pm.
#3 - Tomas Plekanec: Goal and Assist. Gotta give credit where its due and he played a great game tonight.
#2 - Robby Fabbri: Goal and Assist. Brought a much needed spark to the team again
#1 - Brian Elliott: Career High 46 saves on 49 shots against. Made Cujo proud tonight