Islanders At Blues: Blues Rebound Nicely From Lackluster Loss

A five goal game was just what the doctor ordered after Tuesday's disappointing 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blues dealt the Islanders' playoff hopes a fairly big blow by taking them out, 5-1.

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Islanders At Blues Final Score: Blues Win Again At Home 5-1

After a pretty good first period by the New York Islanders, the game went downhill in the second period. The slope evened itself out in the third period, as the Blues didn’t add any more damage to the scoreboard. They won their 25th game on home ice, got to 20 games in a row at home gaining at least a point, and crept back up within three of the Detroit Red Wings for the division and conference leads.

The Blues were outshot 27-26, but Brian Elliott made the big saves and the Blues’ defense actually allowed him to see the shots on net, which is more than the Islanders did for beleaguered Al Montoya.

Current slump-ees Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart showed that they’re not scoring for lack of effort tonight. Berglund had a terrific game tonight with a very obvious presence on the ice, though he dinged a post and had Montoya rob him toward the end of the game. Stewart nearly had a chance on a breakaway, but Montoya deflected the puck high and wide.

The Blues’ next chance to take out an opponent comes Saturday afternoon at 1:00 against the Minnesota Wild, and is promptly followed with an NBC national broadcast the next afternoon as part of Hockey Day In America. The Blues-Blackhawks tilt on Sunday starts extremely early at 11:30, so set those alarm clocks.

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Islanders At Blues Second Period Score: Blues Keep On Rolling, Lead 5-1 After Two

Poor Al Montoya. He’s the only available goaltender for the Islanders tonight with Evgeny Nabokov out with the flu, and he is being absolutely shellacked by the Blues tonight. Three goals on eight shots was probably not the performance that the Isles envisioned from their goaltender, though the defense admittedly has not been the most solid thing for their team tonight.

Andy McDonald opened the second period’s scoring with his first goal since returning from a concussion. Patrik Berglund tried to score from a Jamie Langenbrunner shot, and when Montoya stopped that one McDonald was there to finish the job:

David Perron’s hot streak was kept alive with his power play goal (the Blues’ second of the game!) six minutes later. It was a tip in of an Alex Pietrangelo point shot, and just like that the Blues were up 4-1:

The Blues’ final goal of the period, though I suspect not of the game, was tallied by T.J. Oshie.

In fairness to Montoya, the two re-directs were completely unstoppable. I’m sure that’s cold comfort for a goalie making his first start in a while and no comfort at all to a team that would love to gain some ground in the Eastern Conference.

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Islanders At Blues First Period Score: Blues Wake Up, Lead Islanders 2-1

The first five minutes or so of tonight’s game looked like a continuation of Tuesday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their feet were slow and sluggish, and they didn’t get their first shot on goal until 18:40 of the first period — after the Islanders’ Frans Nielsen scored high shoulder past Brian Elliott.

Allowing a goal less than a minute into a hockey game is normally an outstanding wake-up call, and this was no different. The Blues, after initially being well outshot by the Islanders, got the edge in both shots and goals by the end of the period. The Blues outshot the Isles 11-10, but goals by Jason Arnott, who has returned from a shoulder injury, and Kevin Shattenkirk put the Blues back into familiar territory — leading a game.

Arnott’s goal was a thing of patience and beauty, waiting for just the right positioning of Al Montoya to slip the puck past him:

Shattenkirk’s’ goal was a slapper from the point that looked like it was re-directed by David Backes. Backes initially got credit for the goal, but it was switched to Shattenkirk later.

That was Shattenkirk’s first goal in 15 games, and one that hopefully heralds some slump-busting tonight. He hadn’t scored a goal since Jan. 7th, which was against his old team, the Colorado Avalanche.

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Islanders At Blues: Blues Need To Rebound From Lackluster Loss

Sometimes you just come up against an opponent below you in the standings who wants those two points more than you do. The Blues are going to have to deal with a very hungry Islanders team trying to claw their way into the postseason.

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