Words fail me as to how to describe that third period. The Blues were down 3-1 to start after a hellacious second period that they coughed up three goals in and spend half of it on the penalty kill. I’m unsure what coach Ken Hitchcock said to them during intermission, but whatever it was certainly lit a fire under their rear ends.
Alex Pietrangelo seized the moment with a power play goal 19 seconds in to the period — and two seconds into a delay of game penalty called on Edmonton’s Corey Potter. This laser beam from the point was unstoppable, and you could almost feel the frustration of the second period channeled into it.
With the Blues down just one now, the momentum shifted into their favor. It also helped that the refs either wanted to have some make-up calls or the Oilers just were frazzled. T.J. Oshie laid one of his patented big hits on Taylor Hall, causing Hall to try to retaliate against Oshie… which earned him a roughing minor.
On the resulting power play — which came just 35 seconds after Pietrangelo’s goal, David Backes redirected this shot from Petro to get past Devan Dubnyk to tie the game:
The Blues had tied it, and except for a bit of a flurry with five or so minutes left, the wind just went out of the Oilers’ sails. Matt D’Agostini decided to emphatically put a hole in those sails with this flick of the wrist that got past Dubnyk:
Tonight’s win puts the Blues at a league-best 16 wins at home. It also, enticingly, puts them just one point behind the division leading Chicago Blackhawks. Too early in the season to worry about positioning and points, but what a statement it would make for the Blues to claw their way to the top of their division at this point in the season for the first time since before the lockout.
The Blues next square off against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. This should be a tough challenge for the Blues, since Colorado has defeated them twice already this season.
I’m not using hyperbole here when I say that the Edmontol Oilers spent half of the period on the power play. Don’t believe me? Here, look at the boxscore. I dare you.
The Oilers got the jump on the Blues around five minutes in, with two goals just fifteen seconds apart. This first one, by Taylor Hall, was a snipe that Halak had little chance on, especially thanks to the screen:
This one, though, was a flukey one from Ben Eager who had just gotten done serving a two minute minor for an elbow to the face of Barret Jackman.
This can be called the point where the period (though hopfully not the game) went to hell for the Blues. The Oilers outshot the Blues 21-9 that period because of the free-for all they were allowed to spend on a five minute major and game misconduct earned by Roman Polak for a high-stick. It was unintentional, it was one-handed, but Polak still needs to be in control of the stick. A five minute major and a game misconduct seemed a bit much seeing as how it wasn’t a two-hander, but Polak doesn’t need to put himself in that situation.
The Blues killed off the five minute major, but did not kill off the too many men on the ice penalty that came with just fifteen seconds of the previous one left. Jordan Eberle, after a very commendable save by Jackman, flicked the puck past Alex Pietrangelo and Halak after the five minute ended. The upshot there could be, I suppose, that at least it ended the other penalty kill.
The Blues got another call against them when David Perron got whistled for a high stick caused by he himself getting high sticked. God willing this period’ll be more responsible if not to keep the Blues from letting themselves get into a situation where a penalty could remotely be considered.
As someone just tweeted on my timeline, “Who peed in the Oilers’ Cheerios?” This first period has been a lot chippier than one would expect from two teams who aren’t exactly rivals. Sure, the Blues are probably unhappy with their 4-2 loss in Edmonton waaaay back in October, but how much does that even matter now?
The Oilers’re probably still sore regarding their record in the past ten games, and Devan Dubnyk looks the most sore of all. David Perron was shoved a bit and fell into Dubnyk, causing this altercation here where Perron manages to get a roughing call:
Yes, you read that right: Perron got a roughing call. Dubnyk for his crosscheck (small as it was) on Perron got nothing, nor did Ryan Smyth grabbing David Backes to wrestle him to the ice.
However, Dubnyk managed to help the Blues out just a couple of minutes later. A botched clear to get the puck away from Perron while Dubnyk was well out of his crease ended up in the puck being passed right from Dubnyk to… Chris Stewart. Oops. Dubnyk hustled to get back to his crease, but it wasn’t fast enough as Stewart got the puck to Jamie Langenbrunner, who passed the puck back to Stewart for a wide open net:
Cap the period off with some roughhousing between the two teams on Dubnyk’s doorstep, and I say that we’re going to have a heck of a second period on our hands.