The optimism of Blues fans continued to grow on Tuesday with a 3-2, come from behind victory over the Florida Panthers. The Blues scored 3 unanswered third period goals, outshooting the Panthers 19-8 in the final frame to secure the victory.
Colton Parayko started the comeback with a wrap-around goal three minutes into the final period. Watch the goal highlight here
Ryan O’Reilly tied the game eight minutes later. You can watch the goal here
Vince Dunn scored the game winner with just under 4 minutes left on a good individual play. Watch his rush and goal here
Parayko led the Blues with five shots and Dunn was second with four. Mackenzie MacEachern again made the most of little ice time, registering four hits and three shots in just 7:36 of ice time.
Jaden Schwartz had another shot without a goal, keeping his shooting percentage below three percent.
Tonight, the Blues continue their Florida tour, stopping to face the Lightning in Tampa Bay. The Lighting are the NHL’s best team by a wide margin, 10% better than any other team in points and points per game. Most of this is due to their offensive prowess, with the NHL’s best power play and leading the league with 3.83 goals per game, almost a full goal more than the Blues. Their defense and goaltending have been strong, ranked 6th in goals against per game and 2nd best on the penalty kill.
Nikita Kucherov is having a Hart Trophy type season with 81 points in 53 games. Brayden Point has been even better this season with 66 points in 52 games with 31 goals. Victor Hedman leads the defense with 35 points in 46 games. Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to dazzle and impress, having the 2nd best save percentage of any goalie appearing in 25 games or more at a 92.6% and the 5th best goals against average at 2.44. Watch this crazy save from the other night:
With some of the moves he has made this year, his nickname could be Gumby.
Steven Stamkos has 11 points in 12 games against the Blues while Point has 3 in 4 games. Vasilevskiy is undefeated against the Blues, going 3-0 with a 93.6% save percentage and a 1.90 goals against average.
The Blues will counter with Jordan Binnington who is 7-1-1 as a starter and getting better goal support than Jake Allen did. I expect Binnington will also get Saturday’s start in St. Louis against Nashville with Allen getting the start in Nashville on Sunday. This three game stretch will be a strong test for the team and gives them the opportunity to make a statement about the turnaround of their season.
Vladimir Tarasenko hopes to remain hot against the Lightning and improve on his seven goals and nine points in ten games. Ryan O’Reilly looks to extend his point streak to nine games (four goals and seven assists during the eight game streak). Oskar Sundqvist brings a four game point streak into the game with three goals and one assist during that stretch. On a side note, the Blues have outshot their opponent in seventeen straight games.
The Blues will have some lineup adjustments as Carl Gunnarsson is out with an upper body injury. As a result, the preliminary lines look like this:
Schenn - O'Reilly – Tarasenko
Schwartz - Bozak – Steen
Sanford - Sundqvist - Maroon
MacEachern - Barbashev - Thomas
Edmundson - Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester - Parayko
Dunn - Bortuzzo
Robby Fabbri will be a healthy scratch again. I know many are clamoring for Fabbri to be in the lineup but he really has been poor this season and every point matters. I’d much rather see him get some sort of conditioning assignment in San Antonio but I’m not 100% sure of the options on a plan like that.
NHL Champions for Charity
We’ve gotten some traction on the charity wager among the Central Division bloggers. The fourth charity I’ll highlight is United Heroes League https://unitedheroesleague.org/
from your Wild’s Blogger Dan Wallace
. United Heroes League works to ensure that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in sports.
It’s a great day for hockey.