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Erik Johnson celebrates his game winning OT goal
Finally, something went right for the Blues. This was a good game – end to end stuff with Chris Mason having one of his best games as a Blue and Erik Johnson showing just what he’s capable of.
Andy Murray took a bit of a chance with sitting out Weaver and Sydor – two steady, stay at home defensemen – and playing Pietrangelo and Colaiacovo – two of the more offense minded defenders. This did lead to the odd defensive lapse and turnovers – especially in the third period but Chris Mason stood up tall and had their backs.
The Blues trailed after 3.22 of the first period when Keith Tkachuk lost the puck and Vrbata deflected in a shot from Heshka. Three minutes later however, Tkachuk made up for his mistake when he drove hard to the net and the puck went in off his skate to tie the game. Mason, again, came up with a couple of big saves in this period to keep the Blues level at the interval.
The first few minutes of a period seem to be a problem for the Blues as Fiddler put the Coyotes ahead less that two minutes into the second period. Andy McDonald let Fiddler get the better of him and he scored from close range. The Blues had their chances – Bryzgalov was having a good game denying both Kariya and Backes during this period. David Perron hit the post on a rebound during one of the Blues powerplays but they went in trailing 2-1.
Early in the third period, the Coyotes had a three on two but once again were denied by Chris Mason. This instantly led to a three on two for the Blues but Kariya’s shot was saved by Bryzgalov. Minutes later, Oshie gloved the puck out of the air, dropped it, went to the forehand and then slid a backhander past Bryzgalov to draw the Blues level. Superb goal by TJ Oshie who had a good game – definitely showing signs of last year’s form.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Blues in the third period. Colaiacovo slid a dangerous pass to Pietrangelo which was intercepted leading to a Coyotes breakaway. Mason saved Hanzal’s shot and ended up pushed into his own net. Then came Mason’s highlight reel save. A shot from the blueline from Aucoin was blocked by Mason, who then flung himself to his right to block the rebound from Prucha. The Scottrade crowd were on their feet applauding Mason – and deservedly so.
With the game tied at 2-2, the Blues and Coyotes went to overtime again. Except it didn’t last long. 17 seconds actually. Erik Johnson got the puck in his own zone and skated the length of the ice, supported by Paul Kariya. Kariya headed left, splitting the attention of the defense and Johnson moved to the centre and ripped a shot past Bryzgalov to give the Blues the win. It was a long time coming – but it was well worth it. The Perron-McDonald-Boyes line had an off-night but the line of Kariya-Backes-Oshie definitely made up for it. So, here are your reports and highlights:
- Jeremy Rutherford sums it up with comments from Erik Johnson, TJ Oshie, David Backes and Andy Murray. Murray says the guys need to enjoy the win because they’ve had a tough time. Agreed.
- St Louis Game Time game day thread is once again a joy and delight.
- The Blues Official Site has it’s recap together with various interviews – check out the Game Highlights for Mason’s highlight save and Erik Johnson’s superb game winning goal.
So, the last words should go to Erik Johnson – interviewed after the game: