(PhotoCredit: Getty Images)
A Rough First Period
The Blues came out with what looked to be a good start but ended up taking a bad penalty. The penalty came at 9:40 into the first period by Robert Bortuzzo for cross-checking against Sean Kuraly. Shortly after, Alex Pietrangelo was behind the Blues net and went to ice it down. It then hit one of the referees bouncing to the right-hand circle to Boston’s rookie, Ryan Donato. He put a wrister right past Jake Allen‘s glove side. It was unfortunate that the Bruins were able to get that bounce before the Blues were able to capitalize.
St. Louis was also outshot during the first period by the Bruins. Boston led the Blues (9-5) in that category. The Blues did, however, lead in hits in the first. They also had some very solid chances on Boston’s netminder, even though they only had 5 shots on net. The Blues ended the first period by getting aggressive with Boston. They made sure that the Bruins knew it was going to be a battle. Although falling behind 1-0 in the first period, it seemed that the Blues would make a solid run at scoring in this game.
Looking A Little Lost Without Tarasenko
Although they have been able to string together a couple of wins, the Blues looked a little lost in the offensive zone during the first period tonight. They were able to get five shots on net but still were not able to beat Bruins goaltender, Anton Khudobin. Even with Tarasenko’s goal drought this season, he does still put a lot of shots on net. That can create rebounds and give you a dirty goal during a game. It can save you in many situations. Vladimir’s return is based on concussion protocol.
The Second Period
Both teams came out fighting during the second period. They played a very back and forth game that led to a scoreless frame. The Blues were given the opportunity at 3:49 when Jordan Szwarz took a slashing penalty against Jaden Schwartz. The Blues did not gain any traction during this power play. They were able to get into the zone but were unable to set up any good chances against Khudobin. Later on, Blues center, Brayden Schenn took a charging penalty against David Krejci. This may end up being investigated by the NHL due to the fact that it was a direct hit to the head. Luckily, in Schenn’s defense, Krejci did duck down when he was about to get hit. Shortly after this penalty was called, Danton Heinen was called for a slashing call against Joel Edmundson, which created a four-on-four situation. Eventually, the Blues were on the power play for roughly one minute. They were unable to create any significant scoring opportunities again. St. Louis was able to outshoot the Bruins during the second (9-8). Unfortunately, the Blues headed back into the locker room without scoring. It stayed locked at (1-0) Bruins.
Where Did Brayden Schenn’s Aggression Come From?
As of the last few games, Brayden Schenn has been a mad-man on the ice. He has taken at least one penalty in each of the last three games, and tonight, it seemed as though he was out to injure someone. This may be coming from the intensity of wanting to make the playoffs. Or, is this some sort of hidden part of his game? Nevertheless, it needs to be handled by Mike Yeo because it could really put the Blues in a serious pinch. Especially if he were to get suspended at any point, or maybe he takes a penalty at a very pivotal point in a game. I really hope that he is not suspended by the NHL for his charging call against Krejci. Although many of the broadcasters feel that he will get away with this one, the coaching staff definitely needs to ensure that they will not allow him to be suspended this close to the end of the season. That can’t happen with everything on the line.
Nailbiting Down To The End Of Regulation
Each of the teams came out pushing for the 2-points in this game. The Bruins needing one point to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blues needing two points to get within one point of the final spot in the Wild Card race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Both teams brought impressive defense in the third period. Khudobin was holding onto a shutout in this game for a long time, but Jaden Schwartz took that away from him. Brayden Schenn received a pass from Alex Pietrangelo from the defensive zone. Before Brayden Schenn took a body check, he passed it off to Alexander Steen, who then dropped it off to Jaden Schwartz. #17 took a wicked wrister. Khudobin was screened by two Boston players and was beat on his blocker side to tie the game at (1-1).
The Blues pushed to take the game in regulation. The Bruins needed one point that would lock them into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They got it. Unfortunately, the Blues were unable to win it in 60 minutes, but it but ill tell you this. It was not due to a lack of effort. The Blues surged after Jaden Schwartz’ goal to tie the game. Boston would also get a fair amount of chances on Jake Allen as well. This game would inch closer and closer to the end. The final minute is where this game got really interesting, because, with less than 15 seconds to play in the game, Carl Gunnarsson took a slap shot which led to a rebound. Dmitrij Jaskin found it and took a backhand shot. Khudobin dove across the crease to make a save right before the buzzer sounded! Talk about some incredible hockey being played. This kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last second. I literally mean the last second of play.
Overtime Finished Quickly
The Boston Bruins won the faceoff to start overtime but would move into the Blues defensive zone and turn it over to Colton Parayko. Parayko then passed it off to Jaden Schwartz who took it from behind his net and all the way down to the other end. He snapped a beautiful knuckleball wrister between the defenseman’s legs and beat Khudobin blocker side to win the game!
Jaden Schwartz Coming Through Clutch
Jaden Schwartz had Four shots on net tonight and scored on two of those shots. He scored an incredible goal in regulation to tie the game. He then did not disappoint in overtime either, and only 30 seconds into overtime. He came out hard-charging against Boston, thirsty for the win tonight. I was very impressed by the way he’s played his last few games.
The Run for the Playoffs is ON
Anaheim won against Calgary and moved up to 88 points tonight. The LA Kings fall to the bottom spot in the Wild Card race with 86 points. The Blues, with the win in overtime, move to 85 Points meaning that there is still a chance for them to just squeak into that final playoff spot. St. Louis has played some absolutely phenomenal hockey lately. They have been able to come back and win games. They’re doing all of this with injuries to some very important players. I look forward to seeing what they are capable of doing in these final 9 games of the regular season. LET’S GO BLUES!