Goals: Barbashev (2), Berglund (7) and Steen (11)
My Thoughts on tonight's game
- The Blues started this game as if they had, instead of having just had four days off looked as if they hadn't had a day off in 4 weeks. Montreal came out aggressive and definitely the fresher looking team. They kept the puck in their offensive zone and held St. Louis without a shot on goal for the first 17+ minutes of the game.
- Carter Hutton, making his 6th straight start in net, was sharp and despite all of the early Montreal pressure the Blues survived the first period. The score was 0-0.
- The Blues regrouped and began the 2nd period with more energy. 3 1/2 minutes in, Tarasenko beat Montreal goalie Carey Price but was stopped by the goal post. However, it was a sign that Price, although considered by some as the best net minder in the league, is not invincible.
- About a minute later, Ivan Barbashev wound up with the puck on his stick in or near the neutral zone. He skated into the offensive zone and took a shot from the top of the right circle. A Montreal defender helped to screen Price and Barbashev's shot went untouched into the net. The goal was unassisted, but Stastny helped free Barbashev near the blue line.
- The Blues got a couple of power play chances in the 2nd period but failed to convert. The second power play came as a direct result of Jaden Schwartz and his "never say die, never quit, never give up" attitude. He skated into the offensive zone and got behind the defense and was tripped, drawing the penalty. But he didn't stop after being knocked down. From his knees, he dropped the puck back to his linemate, Brayden Schenn who got a good shot on goal before the whistle could be blown and the penalty enforced. I love to watch Jaden Schwartz play! He makes everyone better.
- In the final minute and a half of the second period, with the Blues up 1-0, Jay Bouwmeester made an outstanding defensive play and blocked a shot that was headed straight for an empty net as Carter Hutton was caught on the other side of the crease. That play, as part of his full game effort, earned him the 3rd star of the game and rightly so.
- Early in the third period the Canadiens were whistled for too many men on the ice. The Blues looked as if they may not capitalize on their third power play of the game, but with about 10 seconds left in the man advantage Tage Thompson finally got his stick on a puck and found enough room to get a shot on goal. The rebound bounced out front as Patrik Berglund skated hard toward the net. The puck fell right on his tape and he poked it home.
- The power play goal was the 5th in 12 chances for the Blues in the last 4 games. (41.7%) That's quite an improvement, and is coming at the right time as we head into this home stretch of the season. As noted in the last game recap, the changes to the power play seem to be working.
- With 2:34 left in the game Mr. Nice Guy, Colton Parayko cross-checked a guy into the end boards and was called for a 5 minute boarding major. You could tell right away that he didn't intend to harm the player. None the less, it happened. We hope the guy is all right.
- The Canadiens pulled Price and added an extra attacker for a 6 on 4 advantage. The problem for them was they couldn't manage to hold onto the puck. Steen and Brodziak worked it away from the attackers and Steen got an empty net goal.
- Montreal did get a goal with just 1:07 left in the game and spoiled Carter Hutton's bid for his second shutout in the last 3 games.
- Hutton now leads the league with a .945 save percentage and 1.70 goals against average. With goalies who have played at least 10 games, he is the league's best right now. Where would we be without him?
- Many of the players' dads are in town and will be traveling with the team to Boston and Buffalo for games this week. This is the third year for such a trip. The Blues are 4-0 in the two previous seasons when the dads are along. Let's keep that record perfect.