This kid wearing 17 (No, for the love of god, not Sobotka) returns for the Blues tonight as they (and some of their dads) travel to BB&T Center to take on the Panthers. The Blues forward lines would look like this: Patrik Berglund/Alexander Steen/David Backes...Jaden Schwartz/Jori Lehtera/Vladimir Tarasenko...Robby Fabbri/Paul Stastny/Troy Brouwer...Scottie Upshall/Kyle Brodziak/Ryan Reaves. The D-Pairings were: Jay Bouwmeester/Kevin Shattenkirk...Carl Gunnarsson/Colton Parayko...Joel Edmundson/Robert Bortuzzo. Your goalie for tonight was Brian Elliott.
The Panthers would opening up your scoring tonight. Derek MacKenzie, "The Blues Killer" notches another one against the Blues to make it 1-0 bad guys. Three of his six goals have been against the Blues this year. (The other two were when the Panthers visited Scottrade in that 3-1 loss)
The Panthers would almost make it 2-0 as quick as they made it 1-0. The Blues would give up a 2-on-1 which Elliott stopped. They then turned the puck over right in front of the net and Elliott had to stand tall again.
The Blues would get a bounce their way a few moments later. Literally. Backes would play give and go with himself, take the puck and score. It would be the captain's thirteenth of the year. Parayko would notch his 14th assist.
The Blues weren't done though. Schwartz didn't just want to come back apparently. He wanted to make an impact. He would score his first goal of the season (hard to believe right?) after getting to the front of the net and getting a rebound chance. Parayko(15) and Tarasenko(22) on the assists.
The Blues were still not done. Late in the first period the Blues were rewarded a power play and would capitalize. With about 19 seconds left Fabbri would score a weird angle goal. The Blues would score three goals in the first period for the first time this year. It was nice to see after the lackluster performance against the Jets the other night
To say the STL line is back maybe a little bit premature, but they were sure trying to convince us that they were after just one game. Tarasenko would add to the already huge lead with his 27th goal of the year. Bouwmeester(12) and Schwartz(5) would get the assists (Note: Luongo would be pulled at the end of the first and Al Montoya would be in net to start the second)
The Panthers weren't going to go down without a fight though. Understandable as they have been one of the better teams in the NHL as of late. Aaron Ekblad shows why he was an all star this year and beats Elliott to make it a 4-2 game.
The Panthers would make it a one goal (uh oh) game after Jonathan Huberdeau scores to make it 4-3.
The Blues have blown leads in the past. Was this going to be another game that the Blues should have had? Steen would put to rest any doubt that the Blues were going to choke away another game by scoring this beautiful backhanded shot and giving the Blues the 5-3 lead.
Steen scores his 16th of the year with Backes(17) and Berglund(4) getting the assists. Elliott and yes the defense in front of him would hold and the Blues would go on to win 5-3. Shots were 32-28 in favor of the Panthers. The Blues would go 1 for 1 on the powerplay tonight and would hold the Panthers scoreless on all three of theirs. The Blues have the off day tomorrow before taking on the Lightning in Tampa on Sunday.
And Finally, who doesn't want to know who won the Panger Award!
Third Star: Jonathan Huberdeau (1 goal, 1 assist. Rumor has it father is Dark Helmet.)
Second Star: Jaden Schwartz (1 goal, 1 assist. No Barf feet were harmed in the using of the Schwartz)
First Star: Vladimir Tarasenko (1 goal, 1 assist. Wants to play Lone Starr in the sequel to Spaceballs. Probably)