Saturday, March 17, 2018

Schenn Sends Rangers Packing With Overtime Goal

New York Rangers vs St. Louis Blues - Game 71 Recap
Goals: Pietrangelo (13,14) Soshnikov (1), and Schenn (25)
Record 38-28-5
My Thoughts on the game

  • The Blues came out from the opening faceoff with a workman-like mentality, determined to achieve a different result than the previous game, which was a 4-1 loss to Colorado at Scottrade Center this past Thursday night.
  • Right off the hop the Blues got the puck into the offensive zone and kept up the pressure long enough that it required a shift change, it lasted so long.
  • At about the 1 minute mark, Vladimir Tarasenko went to the boards in the corner with someone and apparently caught an elbow to the jaw. He finished the period, but never returned from the locker room after the first intermission. Early word was that he was traveling to Chicago but yet unclear as to his status for the game.
  • 2 minutes into the period Chris Thorburn livened things up when he dropped his gloves and went toe-to-toe with Cody McLeod. Both players were assessed fighting penalties.
  • The Rangers were sellers at the trade deadline as they were not in a good position to make a run at the playoffs. As they begin to regroup and analyze the pieces in the cupboard, they've been taking an extended look at their rookie goaltender from Bulgaria, Alexander Georgiev.  Coming into the game he was 2-0 in his last 2 starts with wins over Carolina and Pittsburgh. 
  • The Blues would test the young netminder with 31 shots in the first period and 16 of those on net. Much of the first period was spent in the Blues offensive zone and the Rangers young defensive crew were having a hard time clearing the puck from their defensive zone.
  • With all of those shots on net, a young defensive corps and a rookie goalie, you had to believe that something good was about to happen. It took 15:49, but it did finally happen.
  • Tage Thompson was working very hard on his shift to position himself in front of the net. Despite being shoved and battling for position, he held on long enough for Vladimir Sobotka to get a shot from the point. The shot hit Thompson, and fell to the ice in the slot. Alex Pietrangelo was close enough that he stepped in and cleaned up the rebound with a wrist shot that found the back of the net. The Blues led 1-0 at the end of 1.
  • It didn't take long in the 2nd period for the Rangers to tie things up, but it was on a fluke goal. A shot from the right boards hit Mika Zibanejad, who was crossing in front of the net. The puck deflected in over the glove of Jake Allen just inside the upper right corner. At :42 seconds of the 2nd period it was tied 1-1.
  • Just a minute and a half later, Nikita Soshnikov put the Blues back in front with his 1st goal as a St. Louis Blue. His wrist shot looked lethal to me as he scored on a nice drop pass from Chris Thorburn before the goalie had time to react.
  • The Rangers bounced back and scored twice before the 2nd period was over. Mats Zuccarello scored on another weird play when his pass attempt hit Alexander Steen and then almost as if in slow motion it slid towards Allen, yet he couldn't get to it due to traffic in front of him. He finally did get to it with his glove but couldn't control it as it came out of his glove, bounced off his leg pad and into the net.
  • A couple of minutes later the Rangers got their first lead with a power play goal by Zibenajad. 
  • The Rangers controlled the 2nd period and led with 11 shots on goal to St. Louis' 6.
  • The Blues came out in the third needing at least a goal to tie things up if they were to get any points out of this one. They got their chance when Tage Thompson drew a hooking penalty. He has noticably taken his play up a notch lately.
  • The Blues hadn't managed so much as a shot on goal during the first two power plays in this game and just when it looked like New York would kill off their third penalty of the game with just 23 seconds remaining, Alex Pietrangelo's shot from the point found the net thanks to a nice screen from Steen. It was Petro's 3rd multi-goal game this season. 
  • Both teams had chances down the stretch, but both goalies kept their teams in it.
  • The game went to overtime and Coach Mike Yeo started Kyle Brodziak, Colton Parayko and Vladi Sobotka against Zibeanejad, Brady Skjei and Chris Kreider. Schenn and Shwartz were winded after having played several minutes at the end of regulation. Yeo's hopes were that his line would kill off the NY line and buy some time to get Schenn and Schwartz back in.
  • It turned out to be the right move. New York got the first big chance in OT. A crossing pass in front of Allen caught him out of position a bit. But, he recovered just in time to make an outstanding blocker save.
  • The puck went the other direction and the Blues made their change. Brayden Schenn got the puck in the offensive zone with just one defender back. As he dug it out from the right boards, he spun towards the middle of the ice and created some space. A little dusting of the puck and BAM! He wristed it past Georgiev for the game winner. It was his first goal in a month and his 25th goal and 58th point of the season. 1 more of each will match career highs for the former Philadelphia Flyer. 
  • The OT win moved the Blues a little closer to a playoff spot, but's it definitely down to crunch time with just 11 games left.
  • Next up, the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

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