The Blues lost in heartbreaking fashion in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Flames. With the intent of a two-point rebound, they hosted the Arizona Coyotes in their final matchup of the three-game homestand.
Photo: Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports
A disappointing first period included two atrocious power plays by the Blues. For the second game in-a-row, St. Louis came out slow. That’s problematic as we’re winding down to the end of this regular season—their playoff opponents won’t be as forgiving as the Arizona Coyotes, who have the second worst record in the league.
Luckily, the Blues found some offensive momentum midway through the second period. Alexander Steen settled the puck behind Arizona’s net. He dropped his shoulder in a reverse check to protect possession, pivoted, and centered the puck to Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz pumped it past Mike Smith to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
“I knew once I made the move behind the net that I had a little bit of space,” said Steen. “Schwartzy made a great read. I think we both saw that area right away. He’s easy to play with. He’s a hard-working guy which makes it easy to read off him. More times than not he’s just in the right spot.”
A few minutes later, Alex Pietrangelo beat Smith to the far-post and in. His 12th of the season was assisted by Nail Yakupov and Alexander Steen. Yakupov extended his point streak to three games and Steen grabbed his second assist of the night on the play. 12:28 into the second, St. Louis lead 2-0.
“Our team just had a slow start in general, and then we picked it up as the game went on,” said Schwartz. “And our line was fortunate to hop on the ice at the right times and make the right plays, but our whole team stepped up and played the right way the last forty minutes.”
After 40 minutes, the Blues outshot the Coyotes 21 to 15.
The Coyotes broke Jake Allen’s perfect game with a goal by Anthony DeAngelo just 1:01 into the final period of regulation. However, it was all Blues from there.
Vladimir Tarasenko spun around a Coyote and dished the puck to a wide-open Jaden Schwartz after Steen won a puck-race behind the Arizona’s net. Schwartz caught it, juked Smith, then elevated the puck past him with a backhander. The Blues lead 3-1 with less than ten minutes remaining in the third.
Steen, Tarasenko, and Schwartz found themselves on a 3-on-1 late in the third. Imagine that. Tarasenko passed to Steen, who faked a shot before passing it back to Tarasenko, who slid it cross-crease to Schwartz, who took a shot. Tarasenko settled the rebound and sent it home to extend the Blues’ lead to 4-1. The idea, however, was to get Schwartz the hat-trick.
“We tried,” chuckled Steen.
“That’s probably what everyone tried to do,” said Tarasenko. “Just tried to set him up for a nice empty netter, but I missed the play. Said ‘sorry’ already.”
With the win, the Blues extend their point streak to six games. Their next matchup is Wednesday, when they’ll head down to Arizona for a rematch.