On Friday night, the Blues defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime, winning back to back games for only the third time this season.
The Blues opened the scoring a little over 3 minutes into the game on a one-timer shot by Colton Paryako at the left point from a feed from Ryan O’Reilly. On the shot, notice how Philipp Grubauer over-slides on the play:
Unfortunately, as the Blues have done a lot this season, they gave the lead right back, giving up a goal about two minutes later. On the play, Sven Andrighetto beats Vince Dunn in a foot race from the Avalanche’s defensive zone. They start out even:
Andrighetto beats Dunn up the ice, makes a good play on the pass he receives and goes in on a late breakaway.
Most Blues fans are hoping from a big stop from Jake Allen on the play but Allen seems to struggle a bit on breakaways, especially those starting late or coming off the wing, and can’t make the save.
Matt Calvert gives the Avalanche the lead about 4 minutes later on a goal that some felt should have been challenged for goalie interference. As Calvert comes out from behind the net, he comes through goalie Jake Allen’s stick, pushing Allen’s arm and stick out of position.
Allen doesn’t have good pad seal and gives up the goal. If I am coach Berube, I probably wouldn’t have challenged as I doubt the referees would have seen that contact as enough to disallow the goal.
The Blues evened the game in the last minute of the 1st period on a goal from birthday boy, Ivan Barbashev. Jaden Schwartz made a great lob pass to Jay Bouwmeester who made a tremendous read to fly the defensive zone when Schwartz got the puck. Bouwmeester then made a pretty spin-o-rama pass to Barbashev crashing the far post. Barbashev had a reasonably easy deflection past Grubauer to tie the game.
Most people will think that Bouwmeester’s pass was the best part of his play but the read to fly the zone was equally as good.
The Blues were then outshot 16-6 in the second period but Jake Allen held the fort and kept the game scoreless.
Parayko scored his 2nd of the game eleven minutes into the 3rd period on a right point shot that deflected off former Blue Ian Cole. Grubauer never had a chance.
The lead was again short lived as JT Compher would tie the game with a power play goal a little over two minutes later. Allen made a good save on Nathan MacKinnon before Compher buried the rebound.
About a minute into overtime, Jake Allen made this 10 bell save to keep the game going:
Later, Vladimir Tarsaenko was penalized for picking up Colton Parayko’s non-broken stick, something the NHL later admitted was a mistake. On the ensuing power play, Robert Bortuzzo blocked a Tyson Barrie shot, springing Ryan O’Reilly for the game winning, short-handed, breakaway goal.
As was the case on Tuesday, Jordan Nolan barely played five minutes. Colton Parayko played over 28 minutes and had five shots on goal along with his two goals. David Perron had four penalty minutes in just over 13 minutes and had the type of game that got him a seat in the press box not too long ago. Pat Maroon had a strong game with three shots, four hits, two takeaways and a lot of good forechecking.
The Blues will be looking for their 1st three game winning streak when they host the Calgary Flames today at 2pm. The Flames played an afternoon game yesterday, beating the Minnesota Wild in Minnesota 2-1. Matthew Tkachuk scored the game winning goal while David Rittich stopped 34 of 35 shots.
The Flames sit atop the Pacific division, have won two games in a row as well, and are 10-7 on the road. They are the 5th highest scoring team in the league and also rank 5th in goals against. They give up the third fewest shots per game.
Johnny Gaudreau leads the Flames with 42 points in 33 games. Sean Monahan and Tkachuk are 2nd with 38 points each. Mark Giordano leads the defensemen with 33 points in 31 games.
It will be interesting to see if the Flames come back with Rittich in net or the recently called up Jon Gillies or if Mike Smith is healthy enough to go. The expectation is that Smith should be cleared to play.
The Blues have a number of players that are averaging around a point a game against the Flames. Parayko has 9 points in 10 games, Brayden Schenn has 15 in 14, Alexander Steen has 28 in 32, Schwartz has 15 in 17, Vladimir Tarasenko has 16 in 18 and Perron has 27 in 34.
Jake Allen is your expected starter. Allen has struggled against the Flames with only an 88.6% save percentage.
Joel Edmundson should insert himself back into the lineup which may look like this:
Steen - O'Reilly – Tarasenko
Schwartz - Schenn - Perron
Maroon - Bozak - Thomas
Nolan - Barbashev - Sundqvist
Edmundson - Parayko
Bouwmeester - Bortuzzo
Dunn - Butler
The Blues need to earn 68% of their remaining points in order to reach 99 points. They currently are earning 47%.
NHL Champions for Charity
We’ve gotten some traction on the charity wager among the Central Division bloggers. More on that to come.
It’s a great day for hockey.