Photo by Ryan Leopando – Arch City Sports
Just three days ago the St. Louis Blues came away from Ottawa with a hard fought 3-2 win. Tonight at Scottrade, the Senators reciprocated with a 3-2 shootout win over the Blues. The loss also denied Blues coach Ken Hitchcock to move into a tie for 6th with Mike Keenan on the NHL’s all-time wins list for head coaches at 672 wins.
Both teams had a goal disallowed in the game early in the first period. Jaden Schwartz had a goal called back because of a questionable incidental contact call from Jori Lehtera on Senators goaltender Robin Lehner. Shortly after Ottawa forward Erik Condra had his goal taken away as the referee blew the whistle to stop play a bit too early as the puck was not completely smothered by Blues goaltender Brian Elliot when he tapped it into the net.
The first two periods were dominated by the Blues, with Ian Cole getting the scoring started at 14:23 in the first with a fluttering shot from the blue line that deflected off of Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and past Lehner. Then at 12:05 in the second period, Alexander Steen put the Blues up 2-0 with a power play goal for his fifth of the year. Things were getting physical late in the second, and Ryan Reeves capped it off with a convincing fight over Eric Gryba that lasted all but ten seconds. Just before the period ended, a scrum in front of the Blues net had Elliot falling awkwardly backwards and had he to leave the game with what is being described as a lower body injury, bringing Jake Allen into the game.
The bad blood between the two teams continued in the third with more hitting, cheap shots, and physical battles after whistles. Condra finally got the Senators on the board at 7:55 for his first of the year. Then with just over a minute left in the game, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean called a timeout in order to pull Lehner for the extra attacker. With 0:41 seconds left in regulation, Alex Chiasson scored his sixth goal of the year to tie the game and send it to overtime.
There were several chances for both teams to win it in overtime. Blues killer Bobby Ryan, 15 goals in 22 career games against St. Louis, hit the post and Kyle Turris was denied with a beautiful glove save by Jake Allen. Lehtera had a brilliant wraparound attempt denied by Lehner to send the game to shootouts. Both teams were unable to score in the shootouts until the final attempt by Bobby Ryan sent the Senators to their 10th win, which left the Blues tied for first with Nashville in the Central Division at 30 points each.
Next up the Blues host the Edmonton Oilers this Friday. There have been some trade rumors circulating around Blues center Patrik Berglund, currently playing left wing, and Oilers right winger Jordan Eberle in some sort of package deal. Eberle has played 20 games this year and has 14 points (4 goals and 10 assists). Berglund is currently playing left wing because of Paul Stastny, Davcid Backes, and Lehtera holding reigns at the center position.
GAME NOTES: Barret Jackman played in his 745th game as a Blue, passing Brett Hull (744) for third on the Blues all-time list for games played.