The St. Louis Blues paid a visit to the Dallas Stars for a division rivalry game and the first game of their home-and-home series on Tuesday night. With the win, St. Louis ended Dallas’ eight-game home win streak. The Blues improved to 16-8-5 while the Stars fell to 13-11-2.
Here are my three takeaways from the Blues and Stars’ first game of their home-and-home series.
Power-play goals were galore.
The Blues were 2-for-5 on the power play. That wasn’t perfect, but 40% isn’t half bad.
Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly capitalized on the power play at 11:33 of the third period. O’Reilly tipped in a pass that was set up by Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir Tarasenko. His goal was his fifth of the season and an insurance goal for the Blues.
Bet Ryan O'Reilly tips more than 20 percent. pic.twitter.com/3MiQctjOq4— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 15, 2021
And yes, I agree with the Blues’ tweet caption, but only if he receives great service from a restaurant, bar, barbershop, etc.
Tarasenko scored the Blues’ second power-play goal for the team’s fourth and final goal at 18:43 in the third period. With the goal, Tarasenko now has nine goals on the season. He’ll hit the 10-goal mark sooner or later. I think it’ll happen sooner because he has been on a mild hot streak with seven points (two goals and five assists) in his last five games, but I could be wrong. We’ll see.
The Blues committed just one penalty. The Stars only had one power-play, but they were unable to capitalize on it.
Justin Faulk was back.
Yes, Blues defenseman Justin Faulk was physically back on Monday as he cleared the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. But Faulk was truly back in the game on Tuesday.
Faulk’s unassisted goal, his fifth of the season, opened the third period. With the early goal at 2:07, Faulk put the Blues ahead 2-1. I’m sure Blues fans at home, and if any, in the Stars’ stands, were applauding the veteran defenseman. And, if they didn’t for whatever reason, I did because he’s one of my favorite defensemen in the league. He, and Torey Krug, are good, if not great, defensive partners on the Blues’ second defensive pairing.
Vladimir Tarasenko celebrated his 30th birthday a day late (on the ice).
Blues forward and alternate captain Vladimir Tarasenko turned the big 3-0 on Tuesday. I’m sure Tarasenko and his family and friends celebrated with an amazing birthday bash.
The birthday celebrations rolled into Wednesday’s game as Tarasenko picked up two assists, his 16 and 17th, respectively; and one goal, his ninth of the season. Congratuations to Tarasenko! Keep up the good work!
The Blues host the Stars for the second game of their home-and-home series on Friday at 7:00 pm Central.