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Well, this is more like it. Even though there were times the Blues were flat and listless, for the majority of the game they looked like a team who WANTED to win. Thankfully, despite the best efforts of the officials to skew the game towards the Kings, the Blues did manage to pull out a deserved win.
There was a succession of very questionable calls throughout the game and the Blues penalty kill showed exactly why it’s rated number 1 in the NHL with an 86.1 percentage. The Blues were on the board first – a 2 on 1 breakaway with Crombeen and Janssen resulting in Crombeen’s 7th of the season. The Blues killed off three penalties in the first period – including a 5 on 3.
The Blues made it 2-0 in the second when TJ Oshie got his 16th of the season following a shot from Kariya that found it’s way to him via Keith Tkachuk. The Blues DID actually get a powerplay this period…but it was cut short after Carlo Colaiacovo was called for high sticking to even things up.
The third period was…strange. The Blues found themselves on the penalty kill only 15 seconds into the period. A kerfuffle in front of the Blues net saw both Barret Jackman and Erik Johnson called for roughing along with Sean O’Donnell of the LA Kings. A strange call but there’s no arguing with the officials. The Blues managed to kill that one but in the third minute, Erik Johnson was once again given a roughing penalty and, on the resulting powerplay, the Kings scored. 2-1 and the crowd started getting nervous. For once, there was no need to worry – Paul Kariya scored his 18th of the season with 6 minutes left in the game.
The goal was reviewed because, although it was clear to the players that the puck crossed the line, the officials needed “persuading”. Saner heads prevailed in Toronto and the goal stood. The Blues were deserved 3-1 winners and their playoff chances are still alive – just. Both Roman Polak and Keith Tkachuk returned to the lineup for this game.
Your game reports:
- The Blues Official Site has the recap, the highlights and interviews with Chris Mason, TJ Oshie and Paul Kariya.
- St Louis Game Time Game Day Thread – ohh this one’s a doozy.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch notes that the Blues clinched the season series against LA with comments from Davis Payne, Chris Mason, Cam Janssen and BJ Crombeen.
Next up, the Blues play the Oilers on Sunday at Scottrade.