Graphic by Ryan Leopando – Arch City Sports
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO – The Blues traveled to Colorado to beat the Avalanche 3-2 in overtime thanks to TJ Oshie’s 5th goal of the year in the extra period, giving the Blues their fourth win in a row. It was also Paul Stastny’s first appearance back in Mile High, who heard some boos early on in the game from the crowd. Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard kept the game close as the Blues dominated, outshooting Colorado 42-25.
The Avalanche took the early lead on a power play goal by former Blue Erik Johnson’s slap shot from the point at 14:01. But shortly after the Blues responded with a power play goal of their own by Kevin Shattenkirk. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera were given the assists as Shattenkirk patiently waited to shoot the puck over a fallen Pickard at 15:23 for his 4th of the year.
The Blues outshot the Avalanche 17-5 in the second period, however only managed to score once compliments of an unassisted goal by Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo shot a wrister from the point as David Backes screened Pickard in front of the net at 8:16. They continued to pressure Colorado and Pickard, but Erik Johnson scored his second of the game and 6th of the year with a wrist shot off a pass from Nathan McKinnon that got passed Jake Allen at 18:36. Gabriel Landesky was also given an assist on the goal, his second assist of the game.
The pressure continued by the Blues in the third, and Lehtera almost gave them the lead early on but Johnson was able to knock the puck off the line and was eventually cleared. Birthday boy Tarasenko had several quality scoring opportunities throughout the game but was unable to find the back of the net as Pickard made big save after big save to help keep the Avalanche in the game. However, Pickard was unable to make the save on Oshie’s knuckling snap shot from the slot at 1:03 in the overtime period.
During the four game winning streak, the Blues big names (other than the STL Line) have been stepping up and putting the puck in the net. Oshie has four goals in his last eight games while Steen, Stastny, and Backes all have had an impressive last week of play.
With Nashville losing to San Jose 2-0 and the Blackhawks falling to the Islanders 3-2, the win puts the Blues in first place of the Central Division with 42 points. Next up for the Note is a home and home series against the Los Angeles Kings as they pay a visit to Scottrade on Tuesday night followed by St. Louis traveling to LA for a Thursday night matchup.