Thursday, 2 February 2017

NHL - Blues - Round Up January 21-31, 2017

Blues @ Jets 3-5 - Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ondrej Pavelec made 34 saves and set a Winnipeg Jets record for saves in a period when they defeated Pheonix Copley and the St. Louis Blues 5-3 at MTS Centre. Pavelec didn't allow a goal making 25 saves in the second period. He won his second straight game since being recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League. Copley made 24 saves his first NHL start for the Blues (23-19-5), who have lost three straight games. Bryan Little scored two power-play goals, and Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (22-23-4). Kevin Shattenkirk scored twice, and Paul Stastny scored for St. Louis, which trailed 5-1. Little scored at 7:47 of first period, tipping Dustin Byfuglien's point shot past Copley to make it 1-0. Shattenkirk tied the game 1-1 at 13:18 on the power play, shooting into a wide-open net after a pass from Stastny. Wheeler made it 2-1 at 1:27 of the second period. Mathieu Perreault picked up a loose puck near the Blues blue line, made a spin move and passed to Byfuglien, who passed to Wheeler at the side of the net for his 15th goal. Little scored to make it 3-1 at 2:10 of the third period, and Scheifele scored his 21st at 6:21, tying him with injured rookie forward Patrik Laine for the Jets lead. Ehlers made it 5-1 at 11:05 on the power play. Stastny scored at 12:11 to make it 5-2 and Shattenkirk made it 5-3 1:32 later.

* Wheeler finished a tic-tac-toe play after Little forced a turnover at the Blues blue line.

Blues Quotes
"It was a bit of a roller coaster of a game … a lot of back and forth. I think the second period, we felt like we threw everything at them. Pavelec made some huge saves. He really kept them in the game, for sure." Shattenkirk said.
"Quite frankly, we're allowing too many goals against, obviously. Too many easy scoring chances. We're getting scored on killing penalties now, so I think if we clean up our own end, both 5-on-5 and 5-on-4, it'll help us a lot." Ken Hitchcock said.

Jets Quotes
"I felt a bit better than the game before, for sure. A better start. I had a good practice yesterday. First game was a totally different story than tonight." said Pavelec.
"I think a couple of those were stoppable on my end and it's a different game. But it was good to get in there and get in a game and we'll go from there. I felt good going in and I felt confident the whole way through." Copley said.
"Ever since Bryan Little came back into our lineup, we've been doing a pretty good job [on the power play]. I think we have a little bit of confidence going on that power play. We're snapping it around pretty good. It's nice to see a couple go in." Wheeler said
"When I go back to my last three or four games, my legs didn't feel as well as they have been and that's why I just stopped skating. Even though they didn't feel much better today, I just went out there and put that away and just skated. I think that I've learned now that even though my legs aren't feeling great, you still got to go. I don't know why I didn't do that from the start, but I guess it's all a part of the learning process. Now I know." Nikolaj Ehlers
"The biggest thing over the last 10 games is nobody is sick. Little's line tonight was absolutely spectacular. A week ago they were all sick." Paul Maurice

Blues @ Wild 1-5 - Thursday, January 26, 2017
The Minnesota Wild scored three goals in 2:23, and Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in a 5-1 win against the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center. Mikko Koivu scored a power-play goal with 12 seconds remaining in the second period, Nino Niederreiter scored at 1:29 of the third period, and Mikael Granlund scored 42 seconds later to give Minnesota a 5-1 lead. The Wild (32-11-5) are 12-3-0 in the past 15 home games. They are 8-2-0 in the past 10 games and 21-3-2 in the past 26. Minnesota has 69 points and enters the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. Erik Haula scored 23 seconds into the second period for a 1-0 Minnesota lead. Haula has four goals in the past six games. Vladimir Tarasenko tied it 1-1 at 4:47 with a breakaway goal that ended an eight-game drought. Tyler Graovac tapped in a rebound off a stop on Niederreiter at 12:19 to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead. Niederreiter had three points and has 10 (four goals, six assists) in the past seven games. St. Louis (24-20-5) pulled goaltender Carter Hutton after Granlund scored. He made 25 saves. Jake Allen, who had played once since Jan. 12, made three saves in relief. Blues goalies have been pulled in four of past nine games.
"That really was a lucky goal," Graovac said. "It feels good. It's my dad's birthday today, so I wanted to get one for him. I wanted to get something for him and the best I could do was a goal. I'm sure he appreciated that."
"I thought Zach was our best player," Boudreau said. "He didn't score a goal, but to me, he was all over the ice. He was the catalyst that started the first goal. He could have had a couple himself, and eventually they'll start going in for him, but to me he was the catalyst for us tonight."
* Blues forward Ivan Barbashev had one shot, four hits and two blocked shots in 10:03 in his NHL debut. ... Granlund has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in a nine-game point streak. … Wild forward Jason Pominville has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak.
"We just [have to] play better. That's the bottom line." Alexander Steen

"It's not the prettiest hockey, but we found a way to get those goals. Obviously goals like that, especially at the end of a period, was huge for us. We came in, talked about it and had a really good third period." Niederreiter said.
"We talk about consistency. The bar is high for us in the room. We keep each other accountable. Every game is important. We've talked about it and we want to be on top." Erik Haula

Jets @ Blues 5-3 - Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Jake Allen allowed four goals on 23 shots in his first start since Jan. 19, and the St. Louis Blues lost to the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 at Scottrade Center. Allen has allowed at least three goals in seven of his past eight starts. The Jets (24-25-4) moved to within one point of the Blues (24-21-5) for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Winnipeg is 12-4-1 against Central Division opponents this season. Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists, and Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers and Jacob Trouba scored for the Jets, who opened a three-game road trip. Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves. St. Louis has lost six of its past seven games at Scottrade Center (1-6-0). Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and two assists, and Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist. The Blues scored first at home for the first time in the past nine games when Alexander Steen's shot caromed off the left skate of Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey in the slot at 3:37 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.
The Jets tied it 1-1 with 30.6 seconds left in the first on Scheifele's 23rd after an outlet pass during 4-on-4 play by Toby Enstrom. Laine scored his 23rd goal 22 seconds into the second period to make it 2-1, and Ehlers scored at 5:53, seven seconds after a power play started, to make it 3-1. Tarasenko scored with 52 seconds left in the second to make it 3-2. Trouba made it 4-2 after his pass caromed off Pietrangelo and past Allen at 3:33 of the third period. Pietrangelo made it 4-3 with 12.2 seconds remaining with Allen pulled for a sixth skater, but Wheeler scored into an empty net with 2.3 remaining to make it 5-3.

* When Enstrom realized Pietrangelo pinched on a 4-on-4, he was able to pass to Scheifele, who worked a perfect give-and-go with Wheeler.
* Pavelec is 3-2-0 since being recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League, with two of those wins coming against the Blues. ... Scheifele has a point in seven of the past eight games (four goals, eight assists). ... Hitchcock remains one win shy of Al Arbour (782) for third on the NHL list. ... Allen played 17:49 in relief against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, the Blues' last game before the All-Star break.

Blues Quotes
"I felt pretty good, honestly. It wasn't the result we wanted, but for my sake, I honestly felt pretty good." Jake Allen said.
"We made mistakes and we're paying for them right now. We've got to minimize our mistakes. We've got to get more players playing to the same level that some of the guys played at today. There was some really good performances by some people today. We just have to get more people doing it." Ken Hitchcock said.
"We've been very successful the past couple years. Right now it's just one of those seasons when it goes really up and down all the time, and we have a hard time finding momentum through a bunch of games in a row. It's just on us. We have to correct it. We have to compete harder and we've got to just play better hockey. I don't know how to say it. It's on us. We've just got to step up and play better." Patrik Berglund

Jets Quotes
"It was a pivotal game, a team were trying to catch in the standings, so an important one for us." Blake Wheeler
"We know they're big games. We know they're important and we've got to buckle down for them and that's what we've done this year and we've got to continue to do it." said Mark Scheifele.
"Overall it's a good win for us. It's a playoff race right now and every point is going to be huge, so I'm really happy with the win." Pavelec said.

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