Tuesday, 14 March 2017

NHL - Blues - Round Up - February 18-28, 2017

Blues @ Buffalo Sabres 2-3 - Saturday, February 18, 2017
Robin Lehner made 37 saves and Evander Kane and Nick Baptiste each had a goal and an assist to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win against the Blues at KeyBank Center. Kane gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead with 8:02 left in the second period when he deflected a shot by Zach Bogosian, after a pass by Baptiste, past Blues goalie Jake Allen for his 20th goal of the season, and 19th at even strength. Kane has scored 20 goals three times in his career, including in back-to-back seasons with the Sabres. Buffalo (26-23-10) has won three straight games. St. Louis (31-23-5) had a six game win streak ended. Ryan O'Reilly made it 3-1 with a power-play goal with 32 seconds left in the second period. With Buffalo on a 5-on-3 man advantage, O'Reilly received a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen, who skated to the right faceoff circle and took a shot that beat Allen for his 13th goal. Ristolainen's assist was his 100th NHL point. Scottie Upshall made it 3-2 with a shorthanded breakaway goal with 4:57 left in the third period. Upshall deflected a pass by Jack Eichel and raced past Sabres defenseman Cody Franson and beat Lehner with a backhand shot for his sixth goal. Lehner made 16 of his 37 saves in the third period. Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 1:31 into the first period on a delayed penalty call. Tarasenko came on as the extra skater and took a pass from Jaden Schwartz and put a shot past Lehner for his 28th goal. Baptiste made it 1-1 9:34 into the first period for his third goal. He was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Saturday and replaced Sam Reinhart who missed the game with an illness. Allen made 25 saves for St. Louis.

* Upshall's goal got the Blues to within one, and was the first shorthanded goal of the season for St. Louis.

"Obviously, we took too many penalties, but 5-on-4, we were doing a heck of a job. But you put the league's number 1 power play in a 5-on-3 and you make things pretty tough on yourself. But even then, we still had plenty of time. That was a tough goal for us to put them up a couple going into the third period, but we kept fighting. We generated some looks around the net. Their goalie stood real tall and we get back to work now." Mike Yeo
"[The win streak] was good, but it only means we can start a new one. Win this [next] one going into break." Colton Parayko said.
"We're playing one of the best hockey clubs in the NHL. They're going to have chances, they're going to have shots; it's a big hockey team over there. I think we played a [heck] of a game." Lehner said.
Florida Panthers @ Blues 2-1 - Monday, February 20, 2017
A long offensive zone cycle enabled the Florida Panthers to sweep a five-game road trip for the first time in their history. Vincent Trocheck scored with 4.6 seconds remaining to give the Panthers a 2-1 win against the Blues at Scottrade Center. Trocheck scored from the high slot with traffic in front on a shot Blues goalie Jake Allen never saw to give Florida (28-20-10) its eighth win in nine games. Jonathan Marchessault also scored for the Panthers, and James Reimer made 26 saves. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it's the latest the Panthers have ever scored a goal in regulation to win. The Panthers return home for a four-game homestand in third place in the Atlantic Division. They are tied with the Boston Bruins at 66 points apiece, but Florida has played one fewer game.
Kyle Brodziak scored, and Allen made 31 saves for St. Louis (31-24-5), which has lost back-to-back games and enters a five-day break. Allen lamented that the Blues failed to control the puck once in the game's final 41.3 seconds from the moment the Panthers won a faceoff in the Blues zone until Trocheck scored.
* Marchessault put a quick shot short side past Allen after Shattenkirk tried a quick reverse pass behind the net but didn't get much on it. Nick Bjugstad picked it off and quickly found his teammate in the low slot.
"It's terrible. Terrible finish. We needed a win tonight just to have positive momentum into the break. We had a chance, came [up] short."
"You've got to battle. You've got to get pucks put, pucks in. We had 30 seconds left to salvage a point in a game that we played not good. Those are huge points right now. Couldn't end up with two points and it slipped away." Allen said.
"I think we put ourselves in a position where we should have a bad taste in our mouth for a couple of days." Mike Yeo
"Yeah, it's tough but you shut your mind off, you prepare for a good long stretch to close the season. We're in a big fight for a playoff spot right now. We all realize what's at stake now and we're going to come back after the break with our best foot forward." Scottie Upshall

Edmonton Oilers @ Blues 2-1 - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cam Talbot made 25 saves, and Mark Letestu scored the game-winning goal for the Edmonton Oilers in a 2-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. With the Oilers on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:35 after a Magnus Paajarvi slash and Colton Parayko delay of game, Letestu made it 2-1 with 15 seconds left in the two-man advantage and 41 seconds into the second period after Jake Allen made a sprawling save on Connor McDavid. It was the Blues' first game since trading Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals. Milan Lucic also scored for the Oilers (34-22-8), who ended a season-long six-game road trip 3-3-0. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists. Paul Stastny scored for the Blues (31-26-5), who lost their season-high fourth in a row. Allen made 23 saves. Stastny put the Blues ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal at 11:07 of the first period. The Oilers tied it on Lucic's slap shot from the top of the left circle that hit the stick of Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson and deflected off Allen's glove 44 seconds later.

* McDavid stayed with the play after Allen made a sliding save and was able to slip a pass to Letestu near the left post for the easy tap-in.
"It's not good enough, obviously. We've lost, what, four in a row now? Gotta find a way to score some goals now. We gave up two tonight, Jake made some big saves, but we've got to find a way to get some ugly goals. We've got to find a way to get around the net, take more shots. It's been a theme. We've been getting a lot of good chances, but we've got to find a way to score some ugly ones." Alex Pietrangelo said.

"It's frustrating. We've got to dig deeper in the [offensive] zone. I think [the] D-men were doing a really good job to support us and keep pucks in. We didn't score any 5-on-5 goals tonight, so that wasn't good enough." David Perron

"One-goal games, not a lot of offense. That was a game that was there for us. We need to make a play, we need to find a way, whether it's a shot with the guy driving the net, we need to score one of those dirty goals in those situations. We need to find a way to make a play." Mike Yeo

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