(Alex Steen (20) lifts a backhand shot over the shoulder of Craig Anderson (41). Photo courtesy: Richard A. Whittaker, Getty Images)
10/10: Blues/Senators, 6:30pm, Canadian Tire Centre
The St. Louis Blues (2-0-1), after getting a big comeback win in Toronto on Monday, are headed to Ottawa to take on the Senators (0-2-0). After being down late in the second, the Blues tacked on two more goals from Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo to steal a win. “We play well when we come here [to Toronto], it’s obviously a fun place to play at”, Pietrangelo said after the game. “There’s a lot of energy coming in, so it’s always fun to get a win here”.
The Senators have not played since last Saturday, dropping their first game 5-3 and their second game 4-1. In full rebuild mode, the Sens finished in last place last year and look to retool around their new core of Tkachuk, Chabot, Ryan and Borowiecki. Tkachuk, the St. Louis native, already leads the team with two goals in as many games. Anders Nilsson is expected to make his season debut tonight, with no word yet on whether Allen will also get his first start of the season. Robert Thomas skated with the team during their most recent practice, but is not expected to play tonight.
Senators’ Slow Climb Back
It’s no secret the Sens have had it rough the last few seasons. They finished not only dead last in the league, but were 31st in Goals Against. They shipped off the majority of their assets between the offseason and the trade deadline, including their captain Erik Karlsson. Their silver linings are in their youth players like Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot, who have both proven themselves elite NHL talent in their first seasons in the league.
The Senators have also been on the move to try and rebuild with their most recent trade for Vladislav Namestnikov. A former first-round pick for Tampa Bay, Namestnikov scored 11 goals and 37 points with New York last season and should provide some depth down the middle for Ottawa. This was the most recent move from the Senators since the 2019 offseason, including a big trade that sent Ceci and White to the Leafs for Tyler Ennis and Nikita Zaitsev. Time will tell if these trades pay off, but Ottawa will have to take any spark of energy they can get from their roster.
Late Game Rally
The Blues, after scoring two goals in the first against Washington in a 3-2 OT loss, are finding their game in the 3rd periods. 2 goals scored in the third helped the Blues come back against the Stars and win 3-2. A late goal in the 2nd and another in the 3rd helped the Blues secure a 3-2 win over Toronto. It seems the Blues start red-hot out the gate, falter in the second, then come back with a vengeance in the 3rd. It may be still early in the season, but the Blues will need a spark in those 2nd periods to keep playing their style and define the pace.
One player that can help with that is Sammy Blais. Call it a product of being paired with Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly and the resurrected David Perron, but Sammy Blais now leads the team with 2 goals and 2 assists. It’s already tied his season-high from last year and puts him on pace for 109 points (Okay, early in the season). Blais’ physicality from last season and his scoring contributions right now are a big weapon the Blues have on their second line.
The puck drops at Canadian Tire Centre tonight at 7:30pm ET. To watch or listen to tonight’s game, tune in to:
STL: FSMW, ESPN 101.1, NHL.com
OTT: TSN5, CFGO 1200, NHL.com
Alex Pietrangelo passed Al MacInnis on Monday for most game-winning goals (23) by a Blue. It was also Pietrangelo’s 400th career point, which also ranks second among Blues defenseman, behind MacInnis.
Vladimir Tarasenko played in his 500th game on Monday. In his career he has scored 211 goals and 209 assists.
David Perron is a goal away from his 200th, six assists away from 300, and 7 points away from 500.
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