(Photo Credit: Ryan Leopando- Arch City Sports)
The St. Louis Blues traveled to San Jose to take on the Sharks looking to bounce back from a loss to the Los Angeles Kings in their last outing. The Blues who had won five out of their last six appeared to be on their way to another victory up 2-1 late in the third, but the a late goal gave the Sharks a new life. With momentum favoring them coupled with home ice advantage San Jose dominated the overtime period to come away with the 3-2 victory.
The first period began without much action as both sides failed to develop any sort of rhythm. The Blues were assessed a two minute penalty for too many men on the ice giving the Sharks the first power play of the night. Though San Jose was unable to get anything brewing as the Blues outshot the Sharks 8-2 in the first period.
In the second frame San Jose came out firing looking to grab the first goal of the game. The Sharks would get a good chance after Jori Lehtera was handed a two-minute penalty for high sticking. The Sharks were able to put six shots on goal during the power play, but Blues goalie Jake Allen shut them down. However the Sharks patience paid off later in the period when Andrew Desjardins slapped a wrist shot past Allen to put San Jose on top 1-0.
St. Louis rebounded later in the period with a goal of its own as Patrick Berglund found the back of the net beating Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi with a 25-foot backhand to tie the game up at 1-1. The goal was just the fourth on the year for Berglund, who’s struggled of late. The Blues took the lead 2-1 later in the period as Steve Ott escaped through on a break away for an easy top shelf connection. The goal marked Ott’s first as a Blue and ended a 59 game scoring drought.
The third period rested in the hands of Allen and the Blues defense. St. Louis was unable to extend its lead or get anything working on the offensive side as they only tallied three shots for the period. Allen had a relatively consistent night in net until the end. He stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced. With less than 30 seconds remaining the Sharks hammered the net and finally Marc-Edouard Vlasic tipped in a goal to tie the game up at 3-3 and send it into overtime.
In the overtime period the Sharks carried all the momentum and kept control of the puck throughout. A costly tripping penalty on Alex Steen put pressure on the Blues penalty kill unit. They were unable to come up with a stop as Brent Burns snapped a wrist shot that snuck by Allen less than 30 seconds into the power play to give the San Jose the 3-2 victory.
St. Louis, had they held on, would have regained the top spot in the central division with Chicago’s over time loss to Columbus. Though the Blues uncharacteristically were unable to get much going on the offensive end late and move to 21-9-3 on the season. St. Louis is next in action on the road in Colorado when they take on the Avalanche Dec. 23.
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