The Blues would have yet another hole to fill in the lineup tonight against the Rangers as Ryan Reaves would serve the first game of his three game suspension. With that being said, the lineup would look like this (for all of about a period, get to that in a second) Jaden Schwartz/Jori Lehtera/Vladimir Tarasenko...Robby Fabbri/Paul Stastny/Troy Brouwer...Patrik Berglund/David Backes/Magnus Paajarvi...Scottie Upshall/Kyle Brodziak/Dmitrij Jaskin. On defense for the Blues, the pairings would stay the same. Jay Bouwmeester/Kevin Shattenkirk...Carl Gunnarsson/Colton Parayko...Joel Edmundson/Robert Bortuzzo.
The Blues were looking to bounce back from that 6-3 debacle the other night against San Jose. The Rangers and their starter Henrik Lundqvist had other ideas. Tanner Glass would open up the scoring for either team with about seven minutes left in the first period, Dan Girardi would shoot the puck from distance and Glass would tip it past tonight's starter for the Blues Jake Allen to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Not only would the Blues be down 1-0 after one, they would also be down yet another player due to injury. Jori Lehtera was the unlucky man in the "Which Blue is going to be hurt tonight" pool. He took a puck to the face as Kevin Klein would punch it out of mid air. Well it ended up hitting Jori right in the mouth and he would not return. Really? Yep.
Fast forwarding to the second period now, as the Blues would have a four minute powerplay. Vladimir Tarasenko would take a stick to the face drawing blood. That stick by the way was way too close to his eye. The way the injury swarm has hit the Blues this year...Needless to say it could have been a lot worse. With that being said, there was a bright spot. A Troy Brouwer powerplay goal. It bounced off of his knee and beat Lundqvist, but a goal is a goal.
It would be Brouwer's 12th goal of the season and Stastny(24) and Bouwmeester would get the assists on the goal. That unfortunately would be the only goal that the Blues would score tonight. Not that they didn't have their chances. Scottie Upshall would have a clear breakaway. Blues goal? Nope. This happened instead.
Blues lose 2-1 despite outshooting the Rangers 36-23. The Blues had way too many outside shots. Tarasenko had some good looks, but the closest he could get was hitting the crossbar. Gunnarsson had a chance to tie the game late but fanned on the shot. That was pretty much that. The Blues (and many of their fans from what the Twitter machine says) are off to Nashville to take on the Perds Saturday afternoon.
Hitch postgame comments:
Does anyone else wonder this? Thought his officiating was questionable again. (Although when are the officials not questionable?)
Also, how does Tim Peel still have an NHL job?— Justin Williams (@justin03) February 26, 2016
And finally, injuries have become so ridiculous that this is a thing now:
Yes.— #AnotherBluesInjury? (@HurtBlues) February 26, 2016
Third Star: Troy Brouwer (1 goal, adding to that GT fundraiser)
Second Star: Chris Kreider (1 goal, wonders when they get to wear the Power Rangers helmets)
First Star: Henrik Lundqvist (35 saves, win number 30. Stupid, sexy, Lundqvist apparently.)