The St. Louis Blues endured another slow start to beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on the road Tuesday night. St. Louis got goals from Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk in a tightly contested match-up in a loud, crowded, and frigidly cold arena. Having been out-scored 9-1 in the 1st period over their last four games, the Blues kept Winnipeg off the scoreboard for 43-minutes Tuesday night, thanks to another outstanding effort from Brian Elliott (5-1-1.) Ells stopped 20 of 21 shots for the win.
Despite being out-shot 8-2 in the opening period, the Blues were more physically present to start Tuesday’s game than they’ve been recently. It may not have been the kind of overall effort we’d like to see against a lesser team, but as a friend and fellow fan mentioned to me today, the NHL plays a long season. If we’re going to live and die on every single game still in December we’re going to have some serious sanity issues by June.
The Jets had most of the good scoring chances until 4:44 of the 2nd period when Steen’s 21st of the season put the Blues up 1-0. The game was fast and furious through 40 minutes with few whistles and Winnipeg hung in blow-for-blow but couldn’t solve Elliott. Ondrej Pavelec was equally stellar, and the Blues ultimately allowed the Jets to tie it up in the 3rd period, much as they did during the teams’ first meeting back in October, a game the Blues ultimately lost in a shootout.
Tuesday night would, thankfully, end on a higher Note, as Shattenkirk blasted a puck from the high slot that clipped a Jets defender’s stick and knuckleballed over Pavelec’s shoulder for the game-winner with St. Louis on a power-play with just over 3-minutes left to play. The 3rd was chippy and penalty filled, but the Blues managed to kill some undisciplined penalties and Elliott persevered.
St. Louis improved to an NHL best 10-0-1 on the season versus divisional foes with the win. Steener now has 4 goals in 3 games against his home-town team this season and is currently 2nd to only Corey Perry of Anaheim for the league lead in goals. The Blues will face another sub-par team Thursday back at Scottrade Center against Toronto. St. Louis has enjoyed the league’s best inter-conference record this season, but the Leafs will be looking to spoil their homecoming. I would expect to see Jaroslav Halak back in net for the Blues tomorrow night.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!