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The Blues were given clear instructions to ignore the infamous antics of Sean Avery – and for the most part, they adhered to it. Avery tried – but the Blues weren’t biting. Avery managed to sucker Erik Johnson into a slashing penalty but, for the most part, Avery was a nonentity in the game…a game which belonged to the Blues.
The Blues went ahead with a powerplay goal in the first period. Great work by Keith Tkachuk who not only won the faceoff but slid a perfect pass to David Perron who buried the puck past Rangers goalie, Chad Johnson. It was Perron’s 13th goal of the season – he’s now only one behind current Blues scoring leader, Andy McDonald. The Blues went 1 for 4 on the powerplay tonight – but they are creating chances and working hard (Steen hit the crossbar during one powerplay) so it’s only a matter of time.
The Blues had a bit of a shaky second period – finding it more difficult to clear their own zone and the Rangers equalised almost midway through the period when Eric Brewer was stripped of the puck behind his own net. Previously, when the opposing team pulled a goal back, the Blues would fold, they’d fall back and let the other team run all over them. Not this team. Not anymore.
In the third period, the Blues were on a mission. Roman Polak scored after 45 seconds when his shot deflected into the net off Daniel Girardi’s skate. Then it was Alex Steen’s turn to keep up his scoring streak. Picking up the puck in the neutral zone, Steen raced into the Rangers zone, taking the puck behind the net and scoring with a beautiful wraparound attempt. This is the kind of offense we want to see from Alex Steen – and he’s delivering in abundance. The Blues tied up the game with an empty net goal from David Backes 13 second prior to the final buzzer. Mention must be made of the very unselfish pass from TJ Oshie to David Backes.
A fourth consecutive win for the Blues – for the first time this season. Once again, the Blues come good in January. Last season, the Bruins game was the turning point. This season – is it the coaching change? Well, the team are certainly playing with more aggression; more confidence – there’s more flow in their game now. Patrik Berglund is strong on the puck…TJ Oshie has found his game again…Alex Steen is on a roll. We can argue the causes until the end of the season. The main thing is that the Blues are winning – and long may it continue. Anyway – your game reports:
- The Blues Official Site has a recap, game highlights and interviews with Roman Polak, Alex Steen and Davis Payne.
- St Louis Game Time Game Day Thread – the most fun you can have if you’re not actually AT the game.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch notes that the Blues streak has now reached four…with comments from Davis Payne, Roman Polak and Alex Steen.
With this win, the Blues have now moved to 12th in the Western Conference – two points behind the Wild and the Stars. The Blues have played one game less than the Stars and two games less than the Wild. The Blues next play the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Monday – the Blue Jackets are four points behind the Blues.