Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington deflects a shot away from Islanders forward Jordan Eberle (7). (Photo courtesy: Colter Peterson, STL Post-Dispatch)
ST. LOUIS – With the throwback jerseys donned, the St. Louis Blues (38-17-10) scored a goal late in the third period and one more in overtime to take down the New York Islanders (35-20-8) by a final of 3-2. The Blues came out flat-footed in the first 10 minutes, with a lot of sloppy turnovers and misplays in their own zone.
Newest Islander Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored in his second straight game for New York on the powerplay to give the Isles a 1-0 lead. Towards the end of the first, the Blues committed a costly turnover in the neutral zone and Jordan Eberle received a perfect pass from Anders Lee to give them a 2-0 lead. However, less than three minutes later, Brayden Schenn scored on a textbook 2-on-1 to cut the lead in the first.
Neither team got on the board in the second period, but the defensive game tightened up significantly, with both teams preventing high-danger chances from reaching their goaltenders. St. Louis netminder Jordan Binnington made some solid saves for the Blues, as did Islanders goaltender Thomas Griess.
The third period opened up into a back-and-forth track meet, but the Blues kept the Islanders to just three shots on net in the third period and one in the second. Vince Dunn scored a late game-tying goal to knot things up 2-2 and force overtime.
The Blues couldn’t get the puck in the opening 90 seconds of overtime, but Colton Parayko escaped the shutdown of all three Islanders and wrapped the puck around on goaltender Thomas Griess for the OT winner. The Blues took their 6th straight win in overtime, 3-2, coming back with back-to-back goals by defensemen.
“We just had to come together and stick to the program. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but good teams will find a way to win and that’s what we did here tonight,” Vince Dunn said after the game.
The Blues look to continue their winning ways with their final regular season matchup against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night, while the Islanders host the Boston Bruins in a matinee rivalry.
The Blues started off the game on the wrong foot, making several sloppy turnovers in their own zone and failing to get much offensive zone time. The Islanders continued to press on the Blues in their own zone and force plays rather easily, registering four shots in the first three minutes.
Jaden Schwartz took a bad Delay of Game penalty for lifting the puck clear over the glass and sending New York to the first power play. Mat Barzal fed Jean-Gabriel Pageau deep in the slot and he smashed a one-timer past Jordan Binnington.
Pageau’s second goal in as many games as an Islander tilted the ice in their favor, 1-0. The Blues started to find their legs after the powerplay goal, but New York remained frustrating at their own blue line and denied any good entries by St. Louis.
Barzal managed to intercept a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone during a Blues line change and feed it up to captain Anders Lee. Lee fought off the check of Alex Pietrangelo and backhanded a pass perfectly to a streaking Jordan Eberle, who ended up all alone in front of Jordan Binnington and scored.
Eberle’s 15th of the season came off a bad Blues line change and doubled their lead, 2-0. The second goal was a wakeup call for the Blues and they got to work in the best way they knew how. The defense shut down the Islanders at every turn and started converting long, arduous shifts in the offensive zone into scoring chances. Late in the first, it finally paid off as Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly forced the play in the neutral zone to turn a 2-on-1 into a goal.
Schenn scored in his 3rd straight game to make it 2-1 with less than a minute in the first. The Blues also got a late powerplay but couldn’t convert on it. The Blues skated off down 2-1 after the first, while getting outshot by the Isles 12-9.
The Blues found their game in the second period and went toe-to-toe with the Islanders on the forecheck. Neither team allowed hardly any decent scoring chances as it was a solid 20 minutes of smart defensive play along the boards. St. Louis, however, continued to lay fire on Thomas Griess, putting 10 shots on goal in the period while holding New York to just 1. Griess made some incredible saves throughout the period and the game to keep his team’s lead.
The defense for the Blues began to contribute more on the offensive play, something that’s made them so successful this season. However, after a hard-fought 20 minutes by both ends, neither team could find the back of the net. St. Louis dominated the shot total, keeping New York to just one, but the Blues remained down 2-1.
The game began to open up and ramp up to a rapid pace as the Blues could feel the pressure of being down by just one. St. Louis kept the Islanders to just 2 shots in almost 35 minutes of play as they continued to stay stingy in their own zone.
As they did, almost every single forward line and defensive pairing seemed to be contributing to the offense. Oskar Sundqvist set up a wide-open net for Robert Thomas, but he couldn’t bury the equalizer. While the Islanders played some great defensive hockey, it was Thomas Griess making some tremendous saves with authority in the third period. The Blues took a late penalty, but a great kick save by Jordan Binnington and some solid penalty killing at the crucial time kept them in the game.
As fans began to get restless, The Blues tried to force a puck in deep. As an Islander defender tried to clear it, Robert Thomas put pressure on open ice to keep the puck from clearing the zone. The puck came straight to Vince Dunn, who blasted a slap shot past Griess’ glove side.
Vince Dunn’s 8th of the season tied the game with less than two minutes to play, and the Blues never pulled their goaltender. The Islanders tried to push back in the final minutes, but the Blues held them back long enough to force overtime. St. Louis dominated offensive play through two periods, outshooting New York 21-4 through 40 minutes.
The Islanders kept the Blues from even possessing the puck for the first 90 seconds of overtime, but Colton Parayko and David Perron were the first Blues to get pucks to Thomas Griess. Robert Thomas had a great takeaway at 3:10 on Ryan Pulock, but the Blues couldn’t register a shot in OT with the red-hot youth line.
Anders Lee had his dangle poke-checked by Jordan Binnington to keep them from scoring. Later, Colton Parayko attempted to feed Brayden Schenn, only to have it blocked. With all three Islanders leaving him be on the right side, Parayko darted to the back of the net and slammed a wraparound on Griess’ pad, and it bounced up and in for the overtime winner.
Colton Parayko’s 8th of the year came at the best time, securing the Blues’ 6th consecutive win. Thomas Griess was fantastic in net, making 29 saves, while Jordan Binnington made 15.
Vince Dunn’s equalizing goal late in the third started the rally-from-behind win for the Blues after a dominant 40 minutes of regulation. “[It was frustrating], especially with the start we had, it wasn’t what we wanted,” Vince Dunn told Darren Pang. “I think they definitely outworked us in the first period, and we knew we had a lot more to give, and we knew that they were a really desperate team right now.
“We just had to come together and stick to the program. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but good teams will find a way to win and that’s what we did here tonight.”
The Blues can continue their hot streak to 7 wins against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night at 8pm ET, while the Islanders head home to play the Boston Bruins Saturday at 1pm ET.
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