-Photo by (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)
After going 6-6-1 in the month of December, the Blues have turned things around and won their fifth straight game. Goals by Vladamir Tarasenko and David Backes early in the game helped St. Louis to its fifth straight victory.
In the first period, with just over six minutes remaining the Blues held control in the offensive zone. Barret Jackman passed the puck from the point to Jori Lehtera who dropped it back to Tarasenko. Tarasenko turned and shot on net for his 24th goal of the season to make it 1-0. Tarasenko is now fourth in the NHL in goals this season and is two goals behind Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars and Rick Nash of the New York Rangers.
After the goal, the Blues kept momentum in the next few minutes. Lehtera once again would be the set up man on the second Blues’ goal as well as he carried the puck down the right-hand boards. Lehtera dished the pass to the captain David Backes as Backes deflected it into the goal for his 15th goal of the season to make it 2-0 headed into the first intermission. In the past four games, Backes has 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points.
With the score remaining 2-0 with just over 14 minutes to play in the second period, Jackman fired the puck around the boards to be picked up by Tarasenko. The 23-year-old winger collected the puck and sent it across the ice back to Jackman who wristed a shot on net. Then Jaden Schwartz deflected the puck off the blade of his stick past Edmonton’s goaltender Ben Scrivens for his 15th of the season to make it 3-0 with 14:30 remaining in the period.
The Blues controlled the beginning of the third period, but the Oilers were able to answer back. With the Oilers on the power play, Jordan Eberle sent a pass over to Justin Schultz who wristed a shot from the blue line. Jake Allen never saw the puck as it was deflected by Benoit Pouliot into the back of the net to cut the lead to two with 11:23 left in the final 20 minutes of play.
St. Louis would answer however as Backes won a face off draw directly back to Alexander Steen in the attacking zone. Steen took a one-time shot that beat Scrivens into the top left corner of the net to make it 4-1. The goal was Steen’s 400th career NHL point as he extended his point streak to seven games.
The Oilers would add another goal in the period, but it would not prove to be enough as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Edmonton Oilers who currently sit last in the NHL.
In the win, Allen was not asked to make too many saves as the Blues outshot the Oilers 29-15. However, Allen turned away 13 shots to get his second straight win.
With the win, St. Louis improves to 26-13-3 for 55 points, and it sits third in the Central Division. Over the past five games, the Blues have outscored teams 28-10, and Ken Hitchcock tied Pat Quinn for fifth all-time with 684 wins.
The Note will retake the ice against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. CT. The Red Wings will be without their top goaltender Jimmy Howard due to a groin injury suffered earlier this week.