In attempting to sweep their three-game trip, the Blues needed to rely on their penalty-killing group and rookie goaltender Jake Allen late in Sunday’s game against Vancouver.
One of those two bent, but the other did not.
The Blues’ penalty-killing unit erased a Canucks’ five-on-three power play late in the third period. But the team took one too many penalties, allowing Mason Raymond to tie the score with 1 minute, 46 seconds left in regulation. That led to overtime and eventually a shootout.
In the shootout, Allen capped his third consecutive victory by stopping both Vancouver attempts to help give the Blues a 4-3 victory at Rogers Arena.
T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald scored in the shootout, with McDonald’s clincher bringing his teammates onto the ice in celebration.
“Definitely not the (third) period we wanted,” McDonald said. “Too many penalties and you put your team in a real tough spot against a good power play. We have to find a way in those situations. Some of the calls might have gone against. But you still have to find a way to stay out of the box. The games are too important.”
With the important win, the Blues completed the three-game sweep on the trip, improving their record to 9-5-1. The club returns home Tuesday to face San Jose.
All three victories on the road belonged to Allen, who made 28 saves Sunday, including a game-saver on Vancouver’s Alex Burrows with 30 seconds left in overtime.
“He had a lot of speed built up,” Allen said. “More than likely, I knew he was going to deke. I just tried to wait and see which side he’s going to, and I got a glove on it.”
The Blues opened a 3-2 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation on Patrik Berglund’s team-high eighth goal of the season. But with half of the period to play, the Blues earned the attention of the officials, who called Roman Polak for roughing and Alex Pietrangelo for boarding just 1:19 apart.
The Blues withstood Vancouver’s 41-second, two-man advantage. But less than four minutes away from a regulation victory, Ian Cole was whistled for holding Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.
Raymond’s goal looked as if it might spoil the night for the Blues, who were outshot 14-3 in the third period and 5-1 in overtime. But Allen didn’t break, finishing with 28 saves.
“We started to get a little worn down killing penalties,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “It was unfortunate for (Cole) because I don’t think that was a penalty, the one they ended up scoring on.”
Blues come home winners
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 18