– Photo By Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
The Blues entered Saturday’s game needing to turn things around on the final game of a four game road trip. The road trip started out on a good note last Saturday when the Blues traveled to Minnesota and beat the Wild on a shootout goal by fan favorite Vladimir Tarasenko. Games two and three of the road trip weren’t nearly as successful. St. Louis got drilled Wednesday in Chicago 4-1, then followed that up by losing 4-3 in Nashville the following night. Jake Allen would be tasked with getting the Blues back on track against former Blues’ net minder Jaroslav Halak and his New York Islanders.
The first period started out extremely poor for the Blues. The Isles got on the board early with a Frans Nielsen wrist shot. With just under two minutes remaining in the opening frame, Ryan Strome ripped a slap shot by Jake Allen. In the final half-minute, Michael Grabner joined the goal-parade with a rebound put-back to put New York up 3-0 through the first period.
By allowing three goals in the first period, Jake Allen has now allowed three goals in each of his last two periods of play. He would not get an opportunity to make it three periods in a row as Ken Hitchcock turned to veteran Martin Brodeur after the first intermission.
The Blues looked like a totally different team during the second period. Paul Stastny scored his fourth goal of the season on a wrist shot. Shortly after, Chris Butler blasted a slap shot from the point and Patrik Berglund redirected it by Halak to make it a one goal game. At the 12:34 mark in the second period, Kevin Shattenkirk rocketed a slap shot by Halak to tie things at three apiece.
With time winding down in the period, Paul Stastny was whistled for a questionable tripping call against Matt Donovan. Islanders’ sniper John Tavares would help his squad regain the lead with a power play goal in the final minute of the second period.
The Blues trailed after two period by a score of 4-3. The Blues were also down a man as Carl Gunnarsson went off the ice mid-way through the second after taking an elbow to the face from Anders Lee.
The Blues would need to play a perfect third period to stop this losing skid, and perfect they were. T.J. Oshie tied things up at the 4:51 mark with a slap shot for his third goal of the season. Paul Stastny racked up his second goal of the game and gave the Blues their first lead with a snap shot at the 13:26 mark. Then, Vladimir Tarasenko continued his assault on NHL goalies by tacking on a sixth Blue’s goal at the 17:32 mark in the third period, his 17th goal of the season.
The Blue’s played their best offensive game to this point in the season, tallying six goals and firing 40 shots on goal. T.J. Oshie recorded a goal and an assist, Paul Stastny picked up two goals, Kevin Shattenkirk a goal and two assists and Martin Brodeur shut down 14 of the 15 Isles’ shots he faced in his 40 minutes of play. Brodeur adds onto his NHL best wins total by picking up his 689th career win.
The New York Islanders fall to 19-8-0 on the season with the loss. St. Louis improves to 17-8-2 with the win and jump back into a two-way tie atop the Central Division with the Nashville Predators. The Blues will head back to St. Louis to face the Florida Panthers Monday at 7 PM CST. That game can be seen on FS-MW or heard on KMOX 1120.