The St. Louis Blues wrapped up their 2-game Western swing in Calgary Monday night with a 4-3 loss in a shootout to the Flames. The Blues couldn’t hold a 3rd period 3-1 lead giving up two goals in the final 10-minutes including the game-tying score by Flames captain Mark Giordano with just 5-seconds to play in regulation. Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 of 29 shots through 60+ minutes but couldn’t keep Joe Colborne from netting one in the shootout. Former Blues prospect Reto Berra, now with Calgary, stopped 32 of 35 shots and then three more in the skills competition to steal the win.
The Blues took the early lead Monday night when Kevin Shattenkirk scored their first power-play goal in about a week at 7:23 of the 1st period. After winning the face-off in the Calgary zone, St. Louis cycled the puck neatly down low to Brenden Morrow who made a no-look, backhand pass through the crease to Shattenkirk, sneaking in the back door and potting the easy open-net goal. Shatty now has points in 4-straight games and Chris Stewart, continuing his hot-streak, tallied his 11th point in his last seven.
Calgary tied the game with a power-play goal of their own in the 2nd period, but the Blues stormed back to take a 3-1 lead into the final 20 minutes of play on goals by Jaden Schwartz (11) and Magnus Paajarvi (3.) Schwartz now has goals in his last three games and Jay Bouwmeester, playing in his 671st consecutive game, notched his 22nd assist of the season on Schwartzy’s goal. Paajarvi’s score was a full-line effort, getting assists from Maxim Lapierre and Adam Cracknell after a heavy forecheck and good pressure by St. Louis’s fourth line.
While the Blues out-shot the Flames 22-13 over the first two periods they were unable to sustain that pressure into the 3rd and Calgary turned the tables on them, spending most of last half of the frame in the St. Louis zone and scoring twice to send the game into overtime, including Giordano’s booming slapshot with a 6-on-4 man advantage. Patrik Berglund had taken a Roughing minor and the Flames pulled their goalie, giving them the extra attacker and overwhelming the Blues penalty killers. Both goalies were tested in overtime but held their ground until Colborne beat Halak as the first shooter in the shootout. The loss sent the Blues (24-7-5) back home for the Christmas break with a 1-1 split of the road-trip, and four days to regroup before hosting the conference leading Chicago Blackhawks in St. Louis on Saturday.
Hope you all are enjoying the holidays, had a Merry Christmas, and are ready to watch our boys in Blue beat the “Hawks this weekend. St. Louis has 4-points in two games versus Chicago this season, their last win coming in a shootout. Alexander Steen missed Monday’s game and while Dmitrij Jaskin has looked sharp, the holiday break might mean Steener returns Saturday, though until the team practices Friday morning we wont know anything for sure, about him or Vladimir Sobotka. Maybe Christmas will come late for the Blues and those guys can both suit up this weekend.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!