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.