The St. Louis Blues pulled out a last-minute victory Tuesday night at Scottrade Center, beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on a power-play goal by Alexander Steen (11) with 59 seconds left on the clock. The Blues led twice but once again, allowed the Jets to get back in the game and tie things up as they had in their last meeting on October 18. The outcome Tuesday night was in favor of St. Louis who now sit 7-1-2. Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 of 23 shots and has all seven of the Blues wins this season.
The Blues jumped out to an early lead, as they have so often this season, at 6:36 of the 1st period when newcomer Brenden Morrow banged in a Ryan Reaves rebound. It’s nice to see production from those guys considering big names like Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart remain nearly invisible after 10 games.
Things got chippy halfway through the 1st and it left the Jets with 5-3 man advantage. St. Louis special teams looked a little shaky outside the offensive zone all night Tuesday and Winnipeg tied it (the first time) with a power-play goal by Blake Wheeler. Halak blocked an initial shot by Andrew Ladd but the puck bounced straight up in the air and over his shoulder. Wheeler made a nice play slapping it out of mid-air into the open net.
That shaky special teams play I mentioned above bit the Blues again 6 minutes later when Ladd jumped a pass along the boards and broke out for a short-handed goal, tying the game 2-2. It was the 2nd shorty allowed by the Blues this season and it looked like they might pull another gaffe like they did in their last meeting with the Jets, allowing them back into the game after having a 3rd period lead.
Tuesday night’s game, thankfully, ended better for St. Louis. Winnipeg hurt their own cause by giving up a power-play late in regulation and Steener made them pay for it, backhanding the puck past Ondrej Pavelec after a beautiful pass by Jay Bouwmeester to put the Blues up 3-2.
The Blues, for the most part, looked very good Tuesday night. They out-shot the Jets 33-23, were strong on the puck at both ends, quick out of their own zone, and protective of their crease. The passing was crisp and accurate and they moved the puck well on the power-play, as evident by Steen’s ultimate game-winner. As I mentioned, the usual suspects were missing from most of the action. Bergie and Stewie need to get things fired up for this team to continue in their success. They have 6 points between them in 10 games. For some perspective, David Perron has nine. Just saying.
St Louis opens a 3-game road trip on Friday when they head to Florida to square off against the Panthers, the 1st of three match-ups versus Eastern Conference teams. The Blues are 2-0-1 as the visitors so far and can launch themselves toward the top of the West with a few wins. Maxim Lapierre looks to get back in the action this weekend after serving his 5-game suspension, and with back-to-back games Friday and Saturday we may see Brian Elliott get another start.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!