O’Reilly Scores Overtime Winner, Blues Win 4-3

Overtime

In a dramatic turn of events, the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche in overtime for the 2nd time in as many weeks on Friday nights.

The drama started when Colton Parayko dropped his stick. The stick ended up in the corner. Vladimir Tarasenko handed his stick to Parayko and play continued on. Moments later, Tarasenko was in a position to grab Parayko’s stick. As soon as he did the whistle was blown and St. Louis was called for illegal equipment.

Nobody seemed to know the rule. Most everyone seemed to be confused about it. It seemed as if somebody had it out for the Blues and they found themselves in a 4 on 3 disadvantage with 3 and a half minutes left.

Robert Bortuzzo blocked a couple of shots as play resumed and the second one led to a breakout by Ryan O’Reilly. O’Reilly made a nice move and wristed the puck past Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer on his stick side for the win.

Redemption! Karma! Whatever you want to call it, it was a win and it gave the Blues only their 3rd back-to-back win of the season.

First Period

There were four goals in the first period. Colton Parayko scored 3:24 seconds into the game on a big slap shot from the point. Alexander Steen was camped out in front of Grubauer, which certainly helped make it happen. O’Reilly got the only official assist on the goal.

Colorado answered when Sven Andrighetto managed a breakout and got behind the St. Louis defense. He did a nice job controlling the puck as the pass to him was at his skates. He kicked it to his stick and cut across the face of the goal and then beat Jake low on the glove side.

Colorado Takes the Lead

Colorado grabbed the lead when Matt Calvert attempted a wrap-around on Allen’s right side. As Calvert got to the side of the net, Jake’s stick handle got tied up in someone’s equipment and kept him from getting his stick down flat on the ice. Calvert poked the puck under the stick and into the net for a 2-1 lead.

Brayden Schenn wasn’t going to let things get out of hand. He dropped the gloves with J.T. Compher and both men went off for fighting.

Just as it looked like St. Louis was building some momentum after a skate save by Allen on Gabriel Bourque and a resulting 2 on 1 break the other way led by Jordan Nolan, David Perron took a double minor penalty for high sticking against Patrik Nemeth.

The Blues did gain momentum by killing off the 4-minute penalty. Colorado didn’t even set up their offense until there were only 45 seconds remaining. The momentum turned into a game-tying goal a minute later.

Jay Bouwmeester caused a turnover in the defensive zone. Jayden Schwartz flipped the puck out to a streaking Bouwmeester down the ice. The 35-year-old defenseman managed to corral a bouncing, rolling puck near the Colorado goal. He spun with a defenseman all over him and made a perfect pass to Ivan Barbashev who poked it home to tie the game at 2-2. Here’s a look.

Second Period

There were no goals in the 2nd. Each team had 2 power plays. Colorado outshot the Blues 16-6 in the period.

Third Period

Both goaltenders came up huge in the early part of the third and neither team could find a way to get the go-ahead goal. At the 8:56 mark, a “too-many-men” penalty was called and we were surprised it wasn’t on the Blues.

The Blues didn’t score with the man advantage, but they did 4 seconds after it was over. Parayko got his 2nd of the game on another slapper from the point to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.

Colorado wouldn’t go away and found the game-tying goal at the 13:10 mark. This time it was Compher with the goal from a rebound off a Nathan MacKinnon shot.

Allen made some big saves in the final two minutes to get the game to overtime. He stopped 39 of 42 shots in the game for a .928 save percentage.

My Thoughts

  • Jake Allen is now back up over 90% now on the season. This after allowing 3 goals on 6 shots in his last outing. Overall, Jake has been solid.
  • I’m not sure, but I think O’Reilly’s game winner might be the Blues first short-handed goal of the season.
  • It’s good to have Jayden Schwartz back, huh?
  • Vladi is making too many drop passes to other people. When are we going to figure out a way to get him in a position to get some shots on goal?
  • Parayko seems to have found his next gear. Keep it there, Colton. I’ll bet you’ve got even more to show us.
  • We gave up way too many shots tonight. That has to get cleaned up.
  • We are still taking too many penalties. We gotta be more disciplined.
  • For all of the bad breaks Bouwmeester had earlier, he has played well lately. Good for him. Good for the Blues.
  • Calgary comes to town Sunday and then the Blues haed up to western Canada to close things out before the Christmas break.
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