Could the Stars defense stop St Louis’ offense? Could the Blues’ defense contain Seguin, Spezza and Benn? For most of this game, you wouldn’t know that St Louis has one of the premier defenses in the NHL. But, when the Blues D needed to be bailed out, they called on a Tank.
The scoring got started early as Dallas rookie Jamie Oleksiak scored his first NHL goal on a slap shot that was assisted by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. 35 seconds later, St Louis sniper Vladimir Tarasenko blasted a wrist shot by Kari Lehtonen high to the stick side to tie things up. That goal would be the first of a very memorable night by Vlad.
The first period would end tied at 1, but the Blues defense kept pace with what they’ve done all season, allowing only 7 Dallas shots.
The first period did come with a cost, however. Blues Captain David Backes collided with Trevor Daley, and fell awkwardly to the ice. Backes was slow to get off the ice. He sustained an upper body injury and would not return. He will be reevaluated Wednesday.
The second period had a little injury drama early on, as TJ Oshie was pushed from behind and went head first into the goal post. Oshie was slow to get up, but made his way to the Blues bench, and would remain in the game.
At the 5:28 mark in the 2nd period, Tyler Seguin blasted a one-timer by Elliott to regain the lead. Déjà vu happened for the Stars shortly after the go ahead goal by Seguin, as Jori Lehtera would backhand one by Lehtonen 37 seconds after falling behind. Tarasenko was credited with the assist.
Though the 2nd period ended knotted at 2, the Blues looked rough for most of the frame, getting only 5 shots off and playing on their heels for the final 8 minutes. The high powered Dallas offense looked to have all the momentum heading into the 3rd.
The 3rd period began the way the 2nd ended. Dmitrij Jaskin was sent to the penalty box and the Stars would capitalize. 3:27 into the period, Trevor Daley scored his 4th power play goal of the early season, giving Dallas the lead.
11:37 into the 3rd period, the Blues offense woke up. Jori Lehtera led Tarasenko with a 100 foot pass. Tarasenko beat Lehtonen for the 2nd time in the contest, tying the game a 3 apiece.
With under a minute left in regulation, Dallas made a push to take the lead with a really good effort from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, but Brian Elliott reminded us why St Louis let Ryan Miller walk. Elliott was a wall to end the 3rd period.
Overtime started with a Hi-Sticking penalty to Tyler Seguin 14 seconds into sudden death. And after playing a pretty solid defensive game, the Blues would take advantage of the Dallas miscue. Kevin Shattenkirk set up Tarasenko nicely for a game-ending one-timer. The goal would give Tarasenko his first career hat trick, the Blues a road victory, and 2 more points.
Tarasenko stepped up with two big names out of the lineup, Backes and Stastny. He put together a complete game and showed St Louis what he’s capable of, earning 4 points in the contest. Jori Lehtera had a day at the office as well. The rookie scored a goal and dropped 2 assists.
The Blues improve to 4-3-1 and gain their 9th point. They return home to Scottrade this Thursday to take on the Anaheim Ducks at 7:00 PM CST.
-Photo by Yahoo Sports