If one Blues goalie doesn’t get you, then the other will. With Jaroslav Halak taking a well deserved game off, Ty Conklin got the start in New York. The Rangers are a team the Blues had never shutout. Until last night, that is. Ty Conklin stopped 27 shots and Alex Steen scored twice as the Blues continued their incredible run with a 7th straight win.
David Perron was still unfit so Davis Payne rolled out the same team as he had against Boston with 7 defensemen and 11 forwards. The first period was slanted towards the Blues as they outshot their opponents 14-8. The Blues had two powerplays – which, quite frankly, looked awful. No creativity, no speed, nothing unexpected. However, it was the Rangers who went in at intermission believing they should be a goal ahead. The puck was flipped high and into the Blues zone, Nikitin appeared to slightly hit it with his stick so the official put his hand up, signalling a penalty. Alex Frolov evaded Nikitin and, as Conklin tried to pokecheck the puck away, the whistle blew and then Frolov sent it into the net. Officials had blown the play dead as soon as Conklin touched the puck for the earlier high sticking penalty.
The second period saw the Blues give up two penalties and end up being outshot 7-5. The game had slowed…the Blues looked a bit tired but still stuck to their game plan. All in all though, the second period was a bit of a borefest. There was one lively moment – and that was when Alex Steen profited from a 3 on 2 breakaway and scored his second of the season past Biron in the Rangers goal.
In the third period, the Blues were outshot again by 12-3. The Blues spent an awful lot of time in their own zone especially as, following a boarding call on BJ Crombeen, the Blues had to kill off a five minute penalty. Kill it they did – and with some aplomb. They were only threatened a few times on the penalty kill. Alex Steen once again wrapped it up with an empty net goal with 3 seconds remaining in the game.
A 7 game winning streak for the Blues sees them currently on top of the league with a fantastic 9-1-2 record. Two back to back road game wins despite missing 5 first team players. A great achievement. Nick Drazenovic didn’t get a game and has today been sent back to Peoria.