Blues Defeat Columbus 4-2

The Blues visited Nationwide Arena in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets on Saturday night. St. Louis saw a 9-day break which seemed to last forever. The Blues were coming off of a 5-1 win against the Ducks on January 23rd where they controlled a majority of the play.

Columbus lost their last game 4-3 to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. Tuesday, the Blue Jackets lost to the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Columbus was also defeated by Montreal and Minnesota before the All-Star Break so they’ve lost 4 in a row.

St. Louis looked to kick off February with some fire. The Blues sat at 49 points and had a game in hand on the Colorado Avalanche who held the 2nd Wild Card spot with 52 points (3 ahead of St. Louis). Vancouver (52 points), Anaheim (51 points), and Arizona (50 points) sat between St. Louis and Colorado.

The Blues had a game in hand on the Coyotes and 2 games in hand on the Ducks and Canucks. St. Louis sat just ahead of the Edmonton Oilers who had played 1 more game than the Blues.

This was the first of a 3 game road trip for St. Louis. They’d face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday before coming home to play the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Team Records

  • Blues: (22-22-5)
  • Blue Jackets: (28-19-3)

Robert Thomas would make his return to the lineup. He’d been out since January 10th with a shoulder injury. Thomas replaced Sammy Blais who is now assigned to the San Antonio Rampage. Everything else stayed the same from the game before in Anaheim.

Forward Lines

  1. Schenn, O’Reilly, Tarasenko
  2. Schwartz, Bozak, Steen
  3. Sanford, Sundqvist, Maroon
  4. MacEachern, Barbashev, Thomas

Defensive Pairings

  1. Gunnarsson, Pietrangelo
  2. Bouwmeester, Parayko
  3. Dunn, Edmundson

Healthy Scratches: Robby Fabbri, Robert Bortuzzo

Injured: David Perron (upper body)

Starting Goaltenders

STL – Jordan Binnington: (5-1-1, 1.84 GAA, .924 SP)

CBJ – Joonas Korpisalo: (9-3-2, 2.95 GAA, .901 SP)

Goals Scored: Ryan O’Reilly, Carl Gunnarsson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Vladimir Tarasenko, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Oskar Sundqvist

Game Summary

1st Period

Just 20 seconds in, Ryan O’Reilly fed Vladimir Tarasenko through the neutral zone for a breakaway. Joonas Korpisalo made the key save. Then we immediately saw Josh Anderson with a breakaway on the other end. Jordan Binnington said no.

Artemi Panarin found himself behind the net and looked to make a play but Jay Bouwmeester got a stick on it. Binnington later made a good save on a slapshot by David Savard.

Ryan O’Reilly put a wrister on goal but Korpisalo made an easy save. Columbus controlled the rebound and exited the zone.

7 minutes in, Shots on Goal were 3-2 and St. Louis had 3 blocked shots by Carl Gunnarsson, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Joel Edmundson.

Mark Letestu then put an easy wrister on goal for Jordan Binnington to make a simple glove save. Seth Jones then let one go through traffic and Binnington had an answer for that.

Alex Pietrangelo then took a shot from the left point. Vladimir Tarasenko sent the puck along the boards to Pietrangelo who’s shot trickled through Korpisalo’s legs. Ryan O’Reilly then tipped the puck in with his backhand to put the Blues up 1-0. Vladimir Tarasenko also received an assist on the play.

Seth Jones sent an easy backhander at Binnington from the left circle. Binnington answered with his blocker. Shots on goal were 5-5 with 7:52 remaining in the 1st period. The Blues were winning 78% of the faceoffs.

Alexander Steen, Ryan O’Reilly, and Colton Parakyo blocked more shots for St. Louis. Nick Foligno and Alexander Wennberg had blocked the only shots for Columbus thus far.

The Blue Jackets had 7 takeaways with 5:25 remaining. Columbus was leading in hits 8-3.

Oskar Sundqvist threw a puck on goal from above the right circle after being fed a short pass from Pat Maroon. Korpisalo was square to the shot.

With 1:27 left, Alex Pietrangelo let another one go from the point. Korpisalo answered with his glove, but I believe the shot was going wide.

Carl Gunnarsson then showed great effort in keeping the puck as he was shoved to the ice a few times along the boards. He kept with it and it resulted in the Blues keeping possession. Gunnarsson then scored on a great feed from Brayden Schenn to put the Blues up by 2. Tarasenko registered another assist.

Columbus had 13 hits to St. Louis’ 4. The Blues blocked 8 shots to Columbus’ 3. The Jackets were winning 52% of the draws by the end of the period.

2nd Period

Artemi Panarin came into the zone and took a shot that was blocked by Colton Parayko. Shortly after Panarin backhanded wide of the net.

We saw Nick Foligno put a pretty decent hit on Mackenzie MacEachern and chirp at him. Mac continued on playing a disciplined game. Robert Thomas saw an opportunity but had his shot blocked by Seth Jones.

Vince Dunn was then called for delay of game at 3:36 as he sent the puck out of play. The Blue Jackets went on their first Power Play of the night. Cam Atkinson put a puck on net from the right circle and Binnington made the save. Panarin then took a slapshot that Binnington had an answer for.

Anthony Duclair had a great chance sweeping in from the left wing. Jordan Binnington made the save with his right pad. The Blues killed it off.

Vladimir Tarasenko tried to feed Tyler Bozak at the back door but it wouldn’t result in a goal. Patrick Maroon then looked to backhand pass to Sundqvist but it was off the mark. Jaden Schwartz saw a chance when he took a wrister from the right circle but Korpisalo made the save with his blocker.

Josh Anderson was then called for tripping Colton Parayko at 7:58 to give the Blues their first Power Play. The Blues went shotless on the man-advantage.

The Blue Jackets were leading in hits 17-7 with 9:00 left in the 2nd. Shots on goal were 9-8 thus far in favor of the Blues. A Vladimir Tarasenko shot was blocked by Ryan Murray. Then on the other end, Jordan Binnington then made an easy save on Brandon Dubinsky.

The Blues then failed to make magic happen on a 3 on 1. Robert Thomas let one go shortly after that was saved by the knob of Korpisalo’s stick. Korpisalo then made saves on Ivan Barbashev and Joel Edmundson.

Jaden Schwartz then had 2 chances in a row but Korpisalo made two key saves. Colton Parayko was then denied by Korpisalo as well.

At 4:28, Nick Foligno made a fantastic move to beat his defender. Jordan Binnington made the save look quite easy with his glove.

Shots were 15-12 in favor of the Blues with 3:36 remaining in the period. Columbus had 21 hits to St. Louis’ 9. Joel Edmundson was denied by Korpisalo. Binnington then made a save on a Riley Nash slapshot. Oskar Sundqvist and Tyler Bozak were then denied by Korpisalo.

The period would end with the Blues leading in shots on goal 19-13.

3rd Period

Cam Atkinson took a shot a shot from the right circle and Jordan Binnington made a key save. On the other end, the Blues saw a great opportunity. Schenn fed the puck to Pietrangelo who missed the net.

Scott Harrington went to the box for cross checking Mackenzie MacEachern and the Blues went on their 2nd Power Play of the night. Vladimir Tarasenko fed Oskar Sundqvist who tipped his shot wide. Tarasenko then took a shot from the left circle that was saved by Korpisalo. The Jackets killed it off.

Anthony Duclair skated in with speed, received a pas

Oliver Bjorkstrand was able to score after receiving a pass from behind the goal line from Artemi Panarin to make it a one-goal game.

Brayden Schenn was able to hit the goal post. Very shortly after, Vladimir Tarasenko restored the 2 goal lead. Ryan O’Reilly took the initial shot after receiving a pass from Jaden Schwartz. Vladimir Tarasenko then scored while falling down with his backhand.

Vince Dunn then put a puck on net but Korpisalo made the save with his glove. Robert Thomas then was denied by Korpisalo.

With 12:08 remaining, the Blues were leading in shots on goal 27-15.

MacEachern threw a puck on net from the point and Korpisalo answered with his blocker. We then saw Jordan Binnington make a good save on Artemi Panarin.

Robert Thomas found himself in another odd-man rush. He made a nice move to get into the middle and let the shot go, but Zach Werenski got his stick on it.

Alex Steen, unfortunately, took Pietrangelo’s stick to the face and left the game in the 3rd period and did not return.

With 9:46 remaining, the Jackets were leading in hits 27-13. The Blues were winning 55% of the draws. Columbus had 14 takeaways.

Pat Maroon’s wrister was denied by Korpisalo from the right circle. It looked to hit the knob of his stick again. The Blues later saw a chance at an odd-man rush but Jaden Schwartz misplayed the puck.

Korpisalo left for the extra attacker with 3 minutes remaining. Pierre-Luc Dubois then scored to make it 3-2 at 2:27. Alex Pietrangelo turned the puck over in the defensive zone. Panarin and Atkinson registered assists.

1:12 remained in the 3rd period. Columbus’ net was empty. Artemi Panarin shot wide and the puck went around the board to come to the other end. Werenski then was denied by Binnington.

Oskar Sundqvist then scored on the open net to seal the win. Brayden Schenn registered an assist.

My Thoughts

Carl Gunnarsson showed a lot of resilience when he didn’t give up on a play while he couldn’t even stay on his feet. He ended up being the finisher on the play and I was really impressed. He’s got 3 goals in his last 5 games. I like what I’m seeing.

I was very impressed with Brayden Schenn who put up 3 assists tonight. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and 2 assists and Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist. Great night for the top line with 8 points.

I was happy to see Oskar Sundqvist add to the goal column with his empty netter. He’s a hard worker and he’s having one heck of a season. He deserves all the success he can get.

Alex Pietrangelo’s assist was textbook. Just let it go and let the forwards do the rest. I wasn’t happy with the turnover that led to the 6 on 5 goal, but turnovers happen. You just want to do whatever you can to clear that puck there. It was a scary moment that gave the Blue Jackets some hope.

The Blues went 0-2 on the Power Play. The first one was weak, but the 2nd was better. I want to see the blues capitalize on these Power Play opportunities. You’ve got to gain control and make something happen. The first Power Play resulted in zero shots.

The Blues played a pretty well-disciplined game. It made a big difference because there are some sharpshooters that could have made us pay in Panarin and Atkinson. Staying out of the box was key in this game.

Binnington made key saves and played comfortably, but the Dubois goal is one that he’d want back if this were a loss. I don’t blame Binnington for the Bjorkstrand goal.


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