The Blues might have felt just a little too good about a six game home winning streak and having a cellar dweller like Winnipeg in town they might have taken their game for granted. Well Patrick Laine and the Jets brought the Blues back to earth with a game that has become routine between these two, close and heavy.
The first period started off with the two teams feeling each other out, gaining a sense of what the new looks on each team brought. The Jets got the first good look of the game when a rebound came free right in the slot but Carter Hutton’s left leg pad was just too quick, denying the Jets the early lead.
A theme for the night would be the Blues inability to score on the power play and it was compounded on their first man advantage when Vladimir Tarasenko fanned on a shot. Blake Wheeler and Chris Thorburn would take advantage of the unusual miscue and break in in a 2 on 1 short handed.
Despite giving up the shortie the Blues would get multiplie chances in the first to net the equalizer. After the goal the Blues had a minute on the current power play plus they received two additional power plays in the final 5 minutes of the period but could not capitalize against a goalie giving up 3.18 goals a game and one of the worst penalty kills in the league.
But fret not Blues fans, Alex Steen is back and against his dad's former team he was bound and determined to finally get his 200th career goal. What seemed like a normal break out from their defensive zone turned into a goal scoring rush punctuated by a rocket from Steen’s stick.
All of a sudden the momentum started to shift slightly back to the Blues and a short time later an unreal shift would take place that would lead to a Blues lead. The fourth line, of course, would start with pressure in the offensive zone and Alex Pietrangelo would deftly maneuver the puck away from defenders to attempt a shot on goal. The Jets would manage to clear the zone but as they were breaking out Carl Gunnarsson laid a big hit near the red line eliciting a roar from the crowd. The quick turn would see the puck back on Petro’s stick who would get it to Dmitrij Jaskin.
That's when Jaskin worked his “magic”,
With just two minutes seperating the two goals it would seem likethe Blues team we had seen over the last week was back and about to pounce. Alas that two minute stretch was seemingly the best we would get tonight because just two minutes after the Jaskin goal Patrick Laine did this:
I’ll say this, the kid has some sick mitts. That goal ties him with Sydney Crosby for the league lead and he is only 18.
The Blues had a chance to retake the lead when Robby Fabbrifound himself alone in the slot with the puck on his stick but he could not get it past Michael Hutchinson. This was a big frustration on the night, pucks being shot right into the chest of the goalie or completely missing the net. It was like we had a whole team of Brad Boyes.
The third period was kind of dull as both teams got some chances but nothing of real significance. The Jets would get their first power play with just under 6 minutes to go when Jaskin would chop down a Jet trying to leave the zone. The Blues, who rank 2nd in the league on the PK, held Laine in check and allowed just 1 shot in the two minutes.
Remember that theme from earlier? Well the Blues had a chance to reverse it with a power play with just 2:22 remaining. To their credit they did get a few good looks including a Tarasenko one-timer and a quick turnaround shot that Hutchinson just got a blocker on. But they couldn't solve Hutch tonight and overtime loomed.
It didn't take long for this one to end in the extra time though. After winning the face off the Jets regrouped in their zone and Dustin Byfuglien sent Laine on a break that allowed him to show off those soft hands.
And just like that 17 seconds into overtime the Blues fall 3-2. This game was eerily reminiscant of earlier this year when the Blues struggled on the road. It makes you wonder, do the But they can bounce back with a strong game against one of the top teams in the league Tuesday when they face Montreal.