Blues Defeat Hurricanes In Second Straight Shootout


The St. Louis Blues (31-13-4) beat the Carolina Hurricanes (17-25-6) in a 3-2 shootout win Friday, January 30th, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The Blues entered the game following a shootout win against the Nashville Predators the prior night.  In that game, Blues’ forwards Patrik Berglund and Jori Lehtera received injuries that would keep them out of the game against Carolina.  Paul Stastny was moved up a line while Ty Rattie and Joakim Lindstrom filled the vacant spots on the third line.  Brian Elliot was given the night off allowing Jake Allen a start in the net.

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This was the second of two regular season meetings between the Blues and the Hurricanes.  They last met on January 10th, when the Blues won 5-4 after a shootout.  Since then the Hurricanes have had a boost in performance with a record of 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

Tonight’s win puts the Blues just two points behind the Central Division’s leader, the Nashville Predators, who had the night off.  The Blues also put a preliminary buffer between themselves and the third place Chicago Blackhawks, who played later in the evening.


After 1:48 into the first period, Ryan Reaves put an early shot into the net to put the Blues up 1-0.  Steve Ott and Ty Rattie earned assists.  Then at 3:25 David Backes put a second in for the Blues.  Alex Pietrangelo and T.J. Oshie received the assists.  The Hurricanes made a change in the net.  By 6:00 the Hurricanes slowed the Blues but still had zero shots.

After 10:00 the Blues held on to their 2-0 lead and also kept the Hurricanes down in shots 5-0.  However, at 10:57 Justin Faulk scored on a shot from the blue line to make the score 2-1.  Following that the Hurricane found their stride and put more shots on goal.  After 16:00 shots were tied in shots at 7.

With two minutes left in the period, the Blues’ first line put a heavy assault on the Hurricanes’ net and the team maintained the pressure to keep their lead into the second period.

The second period started with a lot of back and forth play.  After five minutes Carolina led in shots 12-11.  The game’s first penalty came at 10:11 after Jeff Skinner stuck out a leg at Vladimir Tarasenko.  The Blues failed to score on the power play.

The Blues took their turn in the box after T.J. Oshie was given an interference penalty at 13:36.  This cost the Blues after Ryan Murphy scored on the power play to tie the game at 2.  The teams continued to trade shots through the late minutes of the period.  The teams stayed tied after the buzzer with Carolina  leading in shots 19-18.

The start of the third period was the biggest stalemate of the night and it appeared the Blues were having some trouble keeping their game under control.  Near the halfway point the teams were locked at 21 shots a piece with a lot of neutral zone play.  The Blues reignited for a moment after 11 minutes when Reaves took a hard drive to the net.

The teams continued to battle hard and keep shots low late in the third.  They went to overtime tied at two despite a 29-25 shot lead for the Blues.

The teams kept each other shotless for the first two minutes.  After three, the Blues managed to take a shot then a second at 3:30.  Neither team could end things in overtime despite eventually taking 3 shots a piece.

Victor Rask was the first in the shootout and he couldn’t get it past Allen.  Oshie, who scored the first shootout goal the night before missed his shot high.  Chris Terry went next and nicked the crossbar.  Shattenkirk fired hard form the slot and scored stick side.  Eric Staal took the last shot which was stopped by Allen to give the Blues a 3-2 shootout win.


He shoots it hard… and the players aren’t convinced that he knows exactly where it’s going.

Perhaps Ryan Reaves stockpiled himself some Oshie O’s over the All-Star break.  Since coming back he has had goals in back-to-back games and is now beating his career high goal count every time he scores.  And we’re only halfway through the season.  Reaves has rounded his game and now that he’s given up trying to be finesse, he’s creating pressure and taking more shots.  It doesn’t hurt that linemate Steve Ott has also had a breakout season to help Reaves out.  During the third period, Darren Pang explained why team mates didn’t like facing a Ryan Reaves shot, “He shoots it hard… and the players aren’t convinced that he knows exactly where it’s going.”  Maybe those are the types of shots that need to be taken.

Jan 30, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves (75) celebrates his second period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Following the game, Steve Ott gave his line mate praise: “It’s great to see Reave-O get success like this… and when he scores big goals like he does it gives a lift of energy… free energy to our team mates… it’s fun to see.”

Oh, and Ryan Reaves was the player of the game.  Again.  That’s two nights in a row.

But those special teams.  Prior to the All-Star break the Blues boasted the top power play in the league.  Now they’re quickly losing that prestige.  They can’t seem to score when at a man advantage and even gave up a short-handed goal in their game against the Predators.  The penalty kill team didn’t do much better.  It is not great to be 0% in combined power play and penalty kills.  Developing a strategy to decrease shots at all times will help the kill.  And while on power plays the Blues need to stop being so trigger-shy.

All-in-all, the Blues played a fairly strong game considering Goc, Lindstrom and Rattie may still be a little out of sync with the team.  Of course Maxim Lapierre, Patrik Berglund and Jori Lehtera didn’t necessarily leave large shoes to fill with their play as of late.

It is great to see David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen make things happen on the first line as it is with Reaves, Ott and Goc on the fourth.  What’s worrisome, though, is that the once hot STL line of Schwartz, Tarasenko and Lehtera has gone dormant.  With Lehtera out from injury, things may get worse before they get better.  We’re long overdue for a mesmerizing Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below.

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