The Blues rolled into Dallas on a five game winning streak and another regulation win would crazily enough put them in sole possession of first place in the Central. All of this is happening despite missing almost every key player for a portion of the season, including Alex Steen and Brian Elliott currently.
After taking hard fought games against Chicago and Anaheim this week, it would have been hard to fathom the Blues getting the two points against Dallas. The Stars defeated Chicago 5-2 Friday night and had won 3 of their last 4 but their best goalie, Kari Lehtonen, played in Chicago so Antii Niemi was in net tonight.
The first ten minutes of the first period was all Dallas as they swarmed Jake Allen and the Blues, outshooting them at one point 10-1. If not for Allen's unreal glove skills, it would have been 1-0 early on as Antoine Rousell was on the doorstep with a wide open net. But Jake the Snake did what he always does and snared the puck before the shot went into the back of the net.
Troy Brouwer would end up scoring the first goal after Paul Stastny chipped the puck out of the zone to Robby Fabbri who found Browuer free on the wing. Brouwer's initial shot was blockered down by Niemi but it fell right back into Troy's path and he buried it into the open net. Unfortunately, in what would be the theme for the night, the lead wouldn't last long.
Jamie Benn would thread the perfect pass between Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester to Cody Eakin who had just enough time to settle the puck before roofing it over Allen for a tie game. The goal came just over two minutes after Brouwer's goal. Allen would have to stand on his head multiple times throughout the first as first Benn would get in on a shorthanded breakaway and then Jason Spezza would be denied right on the doorstep.
The period would end with the Blues being out shot 18-10 but they would take a tie game and a power play into the second period.
Vladimir Tarasenko would restore the Blues lead shortly after Colton Parayko took a penalty to negate the Blues man advantage. Coming down the wing, Tarasenko took one shot that was blocked but followed it up and fired a tough angle shot that eluded Niemi and found the back of the net. But yet again the Stars would respond quickly.
With the penalty set to expire for Parayko, Jason Spezza would net his 9th goal in the last 10 games as the puck would ricochet off a Blues skate and leave him with a wide open net. The lead this time lasted one minute and one second. But the Blues wouldn't get down on themselves, as they kept pushing to regain the lead in a tough environment.
While on yet another 4 on 4 advantage, Jaden Schwartz would gain the zone and fake a drop pass to Kevin Shattenkirk. He would turn around a fire a shot toward the net that deflected off of Paul Stastny and right to a streaking Shattenkirk behind the net. Seeing that Niemi over-committed, Shatty completed the wrap around and stuffed the puck off the goalies skate and into the net.
The Stars had allowed 12 goals in the final minute of periods this year. That stat was brought to you by Mr, Darren Pang, and I think the Blues heard it because Schwartz would carry the puck in with under a minute to go and feed Shatty who was barreling in. In stride the slick d-man fired the puck, which clipped Stephen Johns and eluded Niemi. The Blues would lead 4-2 going to the third, which to fans of late didn't instill much confidence.
Unfortunately, the fans were right again, as the Blues blew another two goal lead, although this time it didn't look as bad as it usually does. The defense was very aggressive holding the line and the forwards put tons of pressure on the Stars but just could not capitalize on any mistakes. The Stars, however, did.
Spezza would put in his second of the game off of another deflected puck and just 6 and a half minutes in the lead was back down to one. The Blue shad grown sloppy after another poor power play advantage and were caught running around the zone. After that goal, though, things did tighten up for the Blues and it almost seemed to calm the team down.
The Blues would draw a power play late in the game but with the chance to seal the game they couldn't even enter the zone. Missing Steen has really hurt the power play as it has pulled Tarasenko from his slot position and it really only leaves one point option in Shattenkirk. Even thought they didn't score though they did kill off two minutes but it wouldn't be a Blues game without drama.
Robby Fabbri would hook Benn with 3 minutes to go and it gave Dallas a huge power play advantage. With Niemi pulled Stasnty would get his chance to end it but his mid ice shot skipped just to the outside of the net giving Dallas life, and they took advantage. Tyler Seguin would wrist a shot from the point that seemed to confuse Allen, but it wasn't until the replay that one noticed the deflection by Benn at the last second. Once again the Blues gave up a two goal lead and would head to overtime.
After controlling the opening draw, the Blues would turn the puck over to the Stars and Seguin would almost end it with his speed but somehow, some way, Jake Allen made a toe save to keep the game flowing. Alex Pietrangelo thanked him minutes later as he rifled the puck between Niemi's arm and body giving the Blues a 5-4 victory.
The win moved the Blues into a virtual tie with the Stars although Dallas holds the ROW tie breaker. The Blues somehow, even though they gave up points to Chicago and Dallas, gained all 6 points in a hotly contested week. The road trip continues Monday in Calgary.