– Photo By Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
The Blues traveled to Winnipeg, the home of Alex Steen and Ryan Reeves, to take on Central Division foe Winnipeg Jets. The Blues were coming off a 3-2 win yesterday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators. Tonight’s game would mark the end of a four game road trip, and the end of the NHL’s longest active games streak. Blues’ defenseman Jay Bouwmeester would see his 737 game streak come to an end due to a lower body injury.
The Winnipeg offense looked to have an edge early. They came out of the gates moving well, hitting well, and peppering Jake Allen with 12 first period shots. Halfway through the first frame, Bryan Little would get the Jets on the board with a rebound goal, his sixth of the season.
David Backes came out of the locker room looking to lead the way for his Blues in the second period. Backes raced down the ice side-by-side with Michael Frolik, and launched Frolik through the air and into the goal post.
Just over five minutes into the second frame, Jaden Schwartz scored his eighth goal of the season on a redirected shot from Alex Steen. Steen and Jori Lehtera both tabbed assists on the goal by Schwartz. Shortly after tying things up, Jake Allen saw a Jim Slater snap shot give the Jets a 2-1 lead.
David Backes knotted things up with just over two minutes remaining in the second period. With the Blues on the power play, Alex Steen found Backes with a nice two-line pass for a breakaway goal. Steen would get his second assist of the night, while goalie Jake Allen tallied his first assist.
The third period started with a little tension in the air. It felt as if both teams were waiting for an excuse to drop the gloves. 2:25 into the third, Ryan Reeves and Steve Ott became difference makers, and not in their typical fashion. Ott took a long rebound from an Alex Pietrangelo shot and found Reeves, who turned and wristed the puck by Ondrej Pavelec to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.
Paul Stastny gave the Blues a little cushion with an empty-net goal with 40 seconds remaining in regulation. The Blues would wrap this game up with a 4-2 victory.
The win salvages a road trip that started poorly for St Louis. They split the trip 2-2. Alex Steen had a memorable homecoming, tallying two assists. Ryan Reeves also had a game to remember in his hometown, scoring the game winning goal that propelled his Blues back into first place in the Central Division.
The loss for Winnipeg drops them to 10-9-3, and they remain in ninth place in the Western Conference. The St Louis win improves their record to 14-6-1 and puts them in a two-way tie with the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the West with 29 points.
Game Notes – Tonight’s game was only the second time this season that Vladimir Tarasenko was in the negative on the +/-. Five of David Backes’ six goals have come on the power play. Ryan Reeves’ third goal of the season tonight puts him one goal back of his career high, 4, which he did back in 2012-2013.
The Blues return home to Scottrade this Tuesday to host the Ottawa Senators at 7PM CST. That game can be seen on FS-MW or head on KMOX 1120.