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Tarasenko Scores Twice, Stars Fall to Blues 3-1

The St. Louis Blues took their game on the road where they have been pretty good lately. They’ve won 4 of their last 5 when sporting the white jerseys. The game in Dallas was the first of a 4-game road trip. With the exception of a home game against Ottawa 1 week from today, the Blues will play 9 of their next 10 on the road.

Coach Craig Berube went with the hot hand in net, giving Jordan Binnington his 3rd NHL start. Binnington has only allowed 1 goal in the first two games and is taking advantage of his opportunity to prove he belongs in the NHL.

The injury bug keeps biting the Blues as Robert Thomas was added to the IR with an upper-body injury after slamming into the boards awkwardly in the last game against Montreal. Carl Gunnarsson also was not able to play tonight, along with Tyler Bozak (IR) and Alexander Steen, although Steen did skate earlier in the day and may be getting closer to a return.

 


Team Records

  • Blues: 18-20-4
  • Stars: 23-18-4

Forward Lines

  1. Schwartz – Schenn – Tarasenko
  2. Sanford – O’Reilly – Perron
  3. Fabbri – Sundqvist – Maroon
  4. MacEachern – Barbashev – Blais

Defensive Pairings

  1. Edmundson – Pietrangelo
  2. Bouwmeester – Parayko
  3. Dunn – Bortuzzo

Starting Goaltenders

St. Louis – Jordan Binnington: 2-0-0 1.60 GAA .937 Sv%

Dallas – Ben Bishop: 15-10-2 2.36 GAA .923 Sv%


Goals Scored: Tarasenko (13,14) Maroon (4), Condra (1)


Three Stars

  1. Vladimir Tarasenko
  2. Oskar Sundqvist
  3. Jay Bouwmeester

Game Summary

1st Period

Those who have been waiting for the re-emergence of the Russian sniper needed to be in their seats early for this one as Vladimir Tarasenko put the Blues on the scoreboard just 34 seconds into the game.

The play was set up on a pass from Jaden Schwartz near the blue line to Tarasenko. Vladi used the defender as a bit of a screen, putting his wrist shot over the shoulder of Ben Bishop for his 13th goal of the season.

Colton Parayko got the other assist on the goal. The reuniting of last year’s line of Brayden Schenn, Schwartz, and Tarasenko is starting to click again and it was only a matter of time before they started scoring. This goal would not be the last we would hear from Tarasenko in this game.

The Blues were clicking early in this game. They looked like they had fresh legs and were working together in all three zones.

Oskar Sundqvist was moved up to center the 3rd line with the absence of Bozak and Thomas. Sunny is fun to watch. He’s gotta be the most improved player on the team this season. His hard work has paid off and it was good to see him rewarded with power play time last game, and now moved up a line in this one.

Nearly halfway through the period, Sundqvist made a beautiful pass across the ice to a streaking Pat Maroon near the Dallas goal. Maroon had a defender on him but managed to get the blade of his stick on the puck and tipped it in past Bishop.

Both teams had 10 shots on goal in the opening period but St. Louis led 2-0.

2nd Period

There were no goals in the 2nd but Jason Spezza nearly scored about halfway through with a shot that was deflected by the stick of Alex Pietrangelo. The shot changed direction a little and fooled Binnington. Luckily, the puck hit the crossbar and sailed high. Shots were 8-7 in the 2nd in favor of Dallas.

3rd Period

Dallas finally got one past Binnington at the 8:35 mark of the final period. Erik Condra got his first goal of the season when he banged home a loose puck on the doorstep of the St. Louis goal.

The Blues cranked up the defensive pressure and didn’t allow the Stars to gain momentum after the goal. They outshot the Stars 11-4 in the final frame.

One of those 11 shots was another goal by Tarasenko. This time it was on the power play. The goal gave Vladi his first multi-goal game since late October. David Perron and none other than Oskar Sundqvist were credited with the assists.

Dallas pulled the goaltender in the last couple of minutes but even with the extra man couldn’t find a way to get another one behind Binnington. He made a couple of nice saves including these.

Final: 3-1 St. Louis. Binnington gets his 3rd win. The Blues climb closer to the .500 mark as they approach the All-Star break.


My Thoughts

This team was clicking tonight. Even with all the injuries and guys out of the lineup, they looked like a unit.

Vladi showed us why it’s so hard for fans to imagine a team without him on it.

Sundqvist just keeps showing up, doesn’t he?

The Blues have 4 games next week, including another back-to-back. I’m certain we will see Jake in one of those two games but doubt we see him again until Binnington cracks. The rookie has played well. The more he plays and the more game film there is on him, the more teams will start to find his weaknesses. Let’s hope he continues to play the way he has played and that there aren’t many weaknesses.

The glaring statistic from this game. Giveaways. Dallas 32. St. Louis 12. Too many for St. Louis, but way too many for Dallas. The pressure by the Blues causes turnovers. That’s a big part of this team’s game.

Next up, Washington, the Islanders, and Boston all on the road. Let’s go Blues!

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Tim Hirsch

I am a lifelong resident of Du Quoin, IL and have been a Blues fan since as long as I can remember. My dad started following the Blues in 1967. I was 3 years old, so I guess I've been a fan all my life.

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