Blues 5 – Kings 4 (S/O)

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Paul Kariya celebrates his first of the game

The Blues seem to be making a habit of this – they’re ahead with only about a minute left…the opposition pulls their goaltender…and then manage to tie the game in the dying seconds. The Blues just don’t seem to be able to kill off a game – there is a tendency to go backwards, to collapse back into their zone and let the opposition take control. It happened again last night – the Blues were 4-3 up only for the Kings to tie the game with 30 seconds left.

In all honesty, both teams deserved points in this game. The Kings went ahead with just over five minutes left in the first period – when the Blues were on a powerplay. A bit of a misunderstanding between Chris Mason, Erik Johnson and Paul Kariya resulted in Kariya tripping over Johnson’s skate leaving the way clear for Brad Richardson to score a shorthanded goal for the Kings. The Blues powerplay was, once again, trying too hard to create the perfect set-up instead of taking shots when they could.

The second period was a strange one. The Blues were outshot 18-9 despite having two powerplays to LA’s one…yet they went in at the end of the period with the game tied 2-2. David Perron ripped a shot towards goal three minutes into the second period where it was tipped in by Keith Tkachuk to tie the game 1-1. Less than 10 minutes later, the Blues took the lead. BJ Crombeen passed to Brad Boyes whose mis-hit shot found its way past Jonathan Quick in the Kings goal. The Blues lead lasted precisely one minute – Scott Parse scoring a strange and flukey goal when the puck seemed to drift over Mason and into the net from an acute angle.

In the third period, the Blues had two more powerplays – and outshot the Kings 12-6 – however it was the Kings who found themselves on the board first courtesy of a wrist shot from Jarret Stoll. The Kings lead lasted 27 seconds before Paul Kariya pounced on a rebounded shot from Barrat Jackman and flipped the puck into the net. Then, with just over 2 minutes of the game remaining, Paul Kariya scored a beautiful powerplay goal to put the Blues ahead. David Backes screened the Kings goalie, Jonathan Quick, and Paul Kariya’s slapshot from near the blueline zipped into the net before Jonathan Quick could react in any way. Then came the Blues “meltdown”. They collapsed back into their own zone and were unable to clear. The Kings pulled their goalie and Alexander Frolov levelled the game once more.

Overtime was bad. Again, the Blues couldn’t clear the zone and were outshot 6-1. Thankfully, overtime only lasts 5 minutes and we were soon headed for a shootout. Chris Mason saved Anze Kopitar’s attempt and then Andy McDonald scored on Jonathan Quick. With Chris Mason denying Jack Johnson, it was up to Brad Boyes. Boyes’ shot seemed to get slightly caught up in Jonathan Quick’s jersey before heading into the net to give the Blues the win and the extra point.

As usual there were good things and bad things about the game. The good included Paul Kariya’s two goals, Brad Boyes scoring again, TJ Oshie working hard and Patrik Berglund playing with more confidence. The bad included miscommunication, defense mishaps and being unable to kill the game off. All in all though, the Blues have played two road games against two top teams and come away with four points – you can’t ask for much more. Having gone 6-3-1 in their last ten games, the Blues are starting to work together as a team, starting to show signs of becoming the force they were in the second half of last year – and that’s exciting. So, your game reports:

So, if you missed the game then check out Kariya’s two goals and Brad Boyes goal and shootout score:

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