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The Blues picked up two vital points with a hard fought win against the Devils. Alex Steen’s rocket of a goal with thirteen seconds remaining in period 1 proved to be the game winner with Ty Conklin picking up his fourth shutout of the season.
The first period was evenly paced – the Blues just outshooting the Devils by 8-7. No minor penalties were called in the first period but the game was livened up early on with a marathon fight between Cam Janssen and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Lablond. The fight lasted 2 minutes, 40 seconds and Janssen waved the officials away numerous times. I’d mark the fight down as a draw but kudos to both players for an epic that had the New Jersey crowd on it’s feet in appreciation.
The Blues went into intermission 1-0 up thanks to an absolute laser from Alex Steen. Barret Jackman sent the puck up the left to Steen who carried it fast into the New Jersey zone and rifled a stunning shot past Martin Brodeur. It was a gem of a goal – worthy of a game winner and something Steen had been working on in practice.
The Devils wound up their game in the second – outshooting the Blues 13-6. Both teams each had a powerplay opportunity but the Blues PP in particular seems to be misfiring badly. In fact, they had zero shots on their first powerplay. The Devils could have tied the game early in the second when Ilya Kovalchuk picked up a rebound from Conklin and attempted a wraparound. Brad Boyes was alive to the danger however and stopped the puck with his stick and skates.
With the Blues up 1-0, a very crucial third period saw more powerplay opportunities including a 4 on 3 for the Devils when Eric Brewer and Jamie Langenbrunner were called for minors – and shortly afterwards, Roman Polak joined Eric Brewer in the penalty box. Good defensive play from the Blues and excellent goaltending from Ty Conklin and they killed off the 4 on 3 and 5 on 4.
There was a worrying moment for the Blues near the end of the game when Roman Polak was sent crashing into the boards following a hard shove and slash from Parise and Zajac. Amazingly – or not so amazingly if you follow the Blues regularly – the officials somehow managed to miss it entirely and there was no call on the play. Polak was helped off the ice but fears were allayed somewhat this morning when Jeremy Rutherford tweeted that “Roman Polak appears to be fine after nasty crash into boards.”
Great win for the Blues – and they’ve now swept the New York teams for the first time in their history in the same season. Follow that up with their Western Canada sweep from earlier in the season, the fact that the Blues penalty kill is ranked #1 on the road and that they have the most road wins in the NHL this season just highlights how bad they’ve been at home. Not to mention the weak powerplay. But – let’s keep the momentum going – the Blues face Nashville tonight (at home) in another vital matchup.
So, your game reports:
- The Blues Official Site has the recap and highlights – watch for Steen’s goal and Janssen’s epic fight.
- St Louis Game Time Game Day Thread – have fun reading the Devil taunting.
- St Louis Game Time Recap – the GT boys wrap up the salient points of the game.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch notes that the Blues shutout New Jersey with comments from Alex Steen, Ty Conklin, Cam Janssen and Davis Payne.
Kudos to Alex Steen – Blues need to re-sign this guy – and Ty Conklin with 29 saves. Look for Chris Mason to get the start against Nashville.