It was not an eventful third period for the Blues. They were slowing down as the Ducks started to press, but for the second game in a row, carrying a two goal lead gave the Blues some insurance just in case something happened, and it did. Devante Smith-Pelly hacked at a puck and it flew up and an odd angle and right past a screened Jaroslav Halak. In all honesty, Halak couldn’t’ve judged where the puck was going even if he weren’t screened on the play.
Goals like that happen, but thankfully it happened against Anaheim. In a night of comebacks in the NHL (the Devils came back to beat the Senators, the Predators came back to beat the Blue Jackets, and the Canucks roared back from three down to beat the Canadiens), the Blues needed to ensure that they wouldn’t be another victim, and Halak and the defense made sure that happened.
Oshie capped off a night of outstanding play with an empty net goal. He finished with two goals, five shots on goal, and a +2 rating for the night. Also having an outstanding evening was a guy who wasn’t even supposed to play: Ian Cole. Subbing for Kevin Shattenkirk, Cole had a goal and he assisted on Chris Porter’s goal. He finished +2 with over seventeen minutes of ice time – and a 100% shooting percentage.
The only line that did not have a successful night was the second line, made up of David Perron, Patrik Berglund, and Chris Stewart. They each finished -2, and Perron had the most ice-time amongst the three with 13:21.
Unfortunately for the Blues, the Blackhawks and Red Wings both won tonight. Since Vancouver also won, the Blues’re staying in 6th place with 35 points. Considering the way that they started the season, having this many points at this juncture of the season seemed like a pipe dream a few months ago. Ken Hitchcock’s turned it into a reality.
The Blues next face off against the San Jose Sharks Saturday night at 7:00.