Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Blues Win 3-2 in Shootout Over Devils

New Jersey Devils vs St. Louis Blues - Game 42 Recap
Goals: Tarasenko (17) and Sobotka (8)
Record 25-15-2

My Thoughts on Tonight's Game

  • Tage Thompson continues to create scoring chances. It's exciting to think of his upside and the other Blues' young prospects that we will be watching these next few years. 
  • Carter Hutton got the start again tonight and was sharp in the early going. Some saves in the first period were just a sign of things to come later on.
  • This game was back and forth with St. Louis getting most of the scoring chances in the first period.  They outshot the Devils 14-5 in the opening frame.
  • Tarasenko broke the ice with a goal at the 12:48 mark when Scottie Upshall stole the puck in the offensive zone, his shot from the slot was blocked or tipped and ended up deflecting behind the goal. The rebound bounced off the back boards and straight to Vladi who pulled the puck out in front of the net and spanked it into the twine. It was the only goal in the first period.
  • In the second period Hutton wandered a little far from the net and found himself in the corner and unable to play the puck.  New Jersey was all over it and gained control of the puck. They centered it and took a shot but Carter had scrambled back to the net and made a diving play to save a goal. 
  • Ivan Barbashev has been playing better hockey and stood out to me a little more in this game.
  • Scoring chances for the Blues in the 2nd included a Berglund tip that nearly went in and Kyle Brodziak hitting the post on one shot and the crossbar a little later on. 
  • New Jersey tied the game when a player shot the puck 3 or 4 feet wide of the net, but it was tipped by #1 overall draft pick of 2017 Nico Hischier. There was really nothing Hutton could do. It was an unbelievable tip and redirection.
  • Before the 2nd period would end, Tage Thompson's shot from the top of the circle glanced off the knee of Vladi Sobotka and went in for a 2-1 St. Louis lead.
  • The Devils struck quickly in the 3rd when Steen was whistled for tripping at the 1:08 mark. Exactly 9 seconds later, New Jersey's Taylor Hall grabbed the puck off a rebound down near the goal line and banked a shot off Hutton's back from the sharp angle and tied the game at 2-2.
  • It looked like New Jersey would take the lead when a turnover by Upshall led to a goal by 19 year old Jesper Bratt. The play was challenged by St. Louis for being offside and was reversed, keeping the score tied at 2 goals each.
  • The Blues had a power play chance midway through the 3rd but could not capitalize and were 0 for 4 on the power play for the game.
  • The game went to overtime and that's when Carter Hutton put on a show. The save I'm about to describe ended up as the #1 play of the week on NHL Network.  I'm sure my description won't do it justice, so you gotta see it if you haven't already. Hischier skated in alone on Hutton. His shot beats him but hits the left goal post.  The puck bounces up and over Hutton, landing in front of the crease to Hutton's left. He was deep in the net and up against the far post leaving a totally empty net on his left side. Marcus Johansson was next to arrive on the scene and he swung at the puck for what was sure to be the game winner, but somehow Hutton managed to get back across and save the shot with his left leg.  Replay after replay defied logic as it seemed there was no way he could have saved that puck from crossing the line, but he did.
  • He (Hutton) made several outstanding saves in the overtime.  
  • Stastny had the best chance for the Blues in overtime but Kinkaid kept it out of the net.
  • No goals in overtime led to the shootout where Brayden Schenn and Vladi Tarasenko scored and both Devils' attempts were kept out by Hutton. 
  • Outstanding game by Hutton. Truly "Sportscenter" worthy. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

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