The St. Louis Blues rudely welcomed the Dallas Stars into town Saturday night and proceeded to pound the visitors in a 6-1 Blues victory. The Blues got goals from six different scorers and Brian Elliott was exceptional in stopping 34 of 35 shots for his 4th win.
The Blues are rarely out-shot these days and knew heading into Saturday’s tilt that Dallas is a team that like to put a lot of pressure on opposing goalies, and it showed right from the start with the Stars out-shooting St. Louis 12-4 in the 1st period alone. Though fewer in number, the Blues made more of their shots and after 20 minutes and goals by Vladimir Sobotka (4) and Vladi Tarasenko (8) they led 2-1. Sobie’s goal was his 100th career point and he paid a physical price for it, as he does pretty much every minute he spends on the ice.
St. Louis piled on from there, with goals from David Backes in the 2nd period, and then a quick power-play goal from Derek Roy to start the 3rd. The Blues chased Dallas starter Kari Lehtonen five minutes later when Chris Stewart took a fortuitous bounce and turned it into his 4th of the season and a 5-1 Blues lead.
Dan Ellis came in to relieve Lehtonen and surrendered the final tally halfway through the final frame as TJ Oshie deflected in an Alex Pietrangelo slapshot. It was an outstanding display of Oshie’s strength on his skates in front of the net and his agile hands, tipping the shot on his backhand through Ellis.
The Blues have scored 6 or more goals four times this season now, and Saturday night they looked to be fully in charge of their game. St. Louis kept its foot on the gas and put the Stars away, assisted in no small part by Elliott, who has shown zero signs of rust as Jaroslav Halak’s backup this season. Dallas was in the game for about 10 minutes in the 1st period but had very little chance the rest of the way.
St. Louis ended a 6-game road winning streak by Dallas but the win did come with a cost. Ryan Reaves busted his hand in a 1st period fight and will miss 4 weeks. The bright side is that this entire Blues team plays a heavy, physical game, so I don’t see anyone coming in and pushing anyone around simply because Reaver isn’t on the bench.
The Blues host the high-powered Minnesota Wild tonight at Scottrade Center, led by Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. The Wild trail the Blues by only 1 point in the standings but have had some injuries recently to the goaltending tandem. If St. Louis can keep pressuring the offensive zone in waves like they do, I foresee another big win at home.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!