Photo by: (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
The St. Louis Blues are picking up steam at the right time by earning their season-best sixth straight win with a 5-4 victory against the Dallas Stars.
Three second-period goals by the Blues including a pair from Kevin Shattenkirk while Jake Allen made 34 stops on the start.
With the win, the Stars and Blues are now tied atop the Central Division with 70 games played and a record of 41-20-9 for 91 points. The Blackhawks trail the pair with a record of 41-22-9 for 88 points.
The Blues wasted little time before getting the first lead in the first period.
Midway through the period, Robby Fabbri sent a pass to Troy Brouwer as he entered the attacking zone on a two on one. Brouwer held as Fabbri went hard far post the fired on net. Antti Niemi made the first stop, but Brouwer picked up his rebound and scored while falling to ice to make it 1-0 with 11:13 left in the period.
Just a few minutes later, the Stars drew the game even. Jamie Benn threaded a pass between two Blues’ defenders sending Cody Eakin in all alone as he roofed a backhander over the glove of Allen tying the game at one.
After a knotted up first, the Blues began to pull ahead in the second period.
On a 4 on 4, Vladamir Tarasenko entered the zone with speed a took a shot on net. The shot ricocheted off a defender’s leg right back to Tarasenko. The attempt drew Niemi down to the ice as Tarasenko snuck the second attempt past the glove on a tough angle making it 2-1 with 18:23 left in the period.
The stars wouldn’t go away as Kris Russell found Tyler Seguin on the power play. Seguin took a shot as Jason Spezza was able to put it home for his 27th of the season knotting the game back up with over 17 minutes left in the period.
Midway through the second period, again on a 4 on 4, the Blues capitalized.
Jaden Schwartz took a shot on net from the point area as Paul Stastny deflected the puck. The puck deflected to Kevin Shattenkirk pinching down from the point as he showed patience before wrapping it around the other side to beat the outstretched pad of Niemi making it 3-2.
Shattenkirk wasn’t done yet as the period was winding down, he ripped a slap shot from the point through a screen to make it 4-2.
Despite the big second period, the Stars battled back with a pair of goals by Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza in the third to force the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Jake Allen made a stunning stop on Seguin near the goal mouth helping set up a chance for the Blues a minute later. With the puck on his stick in the attacking end, Alex Pietrangelo had time and space before delaying a shot that snuck under the blocker of Niemi to seal the win.
Following the win, the Blues will face the Calgary Flames in the second game of a five-game road trip Monday, March 14.