November 23, 2014

Tarasenko scores his team leading 11th goal, as the “STL” line comes through again, but Habs get the best of the Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his team leading 11th goal of the season (photo/NHL)

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his team leading 11th goal of the season (photo/NHL)

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his team-leading 11th goal for the St. Louis Blues in the first period at Montreal’s Bell Centre. Tarasenko and linemates Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera have scored 11 of the Blues’ 15 goals in eight road games this season. Nicknamed the “STL Line,” they have 14 goals and 36 points in their past 10 games.

However, the rest of the team was shut down by Carey Price, as the Blues dropped their second in a row in a 4-1 final over the Canadiens.

Max Pacioretty scored twice on his 26th birthday, by giving Montreal the lead by beating St. Louis goalie Jake Allen on a breakaway at 7:32 of the second period. He scored his second goal of the game, and team-leading 10th of the season, at 6:00 of the third period to put Montreal ahead 3-1.

Blues hit Rask with 33 shots on goal, but get shutout by the Bruins. Hitchcock doesn’t like the effort (AUDIO)

Patrice Bergeron (37) is congratulated after his goal (photo/NHL.com)

Patrice Bergeron (37) is congratulated after his goal (photo/NHL.com)

Boston goalie Tuuka Rask made 33 saves including 15 in the third period, to turn aside the St. Louis Blues, who entered Tuesday night’s game having won 10 of their last 11.  The Blues opened a four game road trip with a 2-0 loss to the Bruins.  Center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Torey Krug scored for the Bruins (12-8-0), who have won six in a row at home, handing Brian Elliott the loss.

“Well I just think they kept us on the perimeter all night,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I know we had a lot of shots on goal, but we weren’t really a threat. We were trying to make the extra play all night, rather than pound it in and look for the greasy goal. They allowed us to enter the zone, kept us on the perimeter, and we stayed on the perimeter all night. [We] did the same thing on the power play.”

More from Hitchcock on style points

Bergeron had a gimme when Elliott left the puck for  defenseman Ian Cole behind the Blues net, Cole passed to the front of the net, where Bergeron was waiting to shoot the puck past Elliott at 5:46 of the first period.  The Blues played with a little more intensity, but Krug fired a wrister from the top of the right circle at 11:31 over the glove of Elliott for the two goal advantage.

The Blues will look to bounce back on the road against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Oshie returns to the lineup and score the Blues first goal in victory over Nashville

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia (L) congratulates T.J. Oshie on his first goal of the season in the first period aginst the Nashville Predators at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 13, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia (L) congratulates T.J. Oshie on his first goal of the season in the first period aginst the Nashville Predators at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 13, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

T.J. Oshie, who was activated from injured reserve after missing seven games with a concussion, scored his first goal of the season for St. Louis as the Blues beat the Nashville Predators, 4-3 Thursday night at Scottrade Center.  The win put the Blues back into first place in the Central Division.

Paul Stastny scored the game winner when he won a faceoff in the Preds’ zone then tipped in a redirection off a Kevin Shattenkirk wrist shot with just under six minutes to play in regulation.

The “STL” line of Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera combined for five points as they continue their tear.

Jake Allen made 22 saves for the Blues (11-4-1), who won for the ninth time in the past 10 games.

Tarasenko extends his point streak by helping Lehtera score a natural hat trick, who compares his line to the old Soviet Union (AUDIO)

St. Louis Blues Jori Lehtera of Finland skates in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 11, 2014. Lehtera scored his third goal of the night in the second period.UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Blues Jori Lehtera of Finland skates in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 11, 2014. Lehtera scored his third goal of the night in the second period.UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Jori Lehtera scored a natural hat trick, leading the Blues to a 6-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Scottrade Center on Tuesday night.  Jaden Schwartz and Victor Tarasenko combined for five assists.  These three players have combined for 25 points in the past six games for the Blues (10-4-1), who have won seven of eight games.

Tarasenko extended his point streak to a career-high six games (10 points), Lehtera has points in five straight (eight points) and Schwartz has points in four straight games (seven points).

Brian Elliott improved to 11-0-2 for his career against the Sabres (3-12-2) with 28 saves. Alexander Steen had three assists, Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists and David Backes scored on the power play.

Lehtera, the Blues’ third-round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, came to North America this summer after four seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.  He thinks this is the first time he’s ever scored a hat trick.

“I don’t remember,” Lehtera said. “I used to pass it but now I scored three, I don’t know what happened. Pretty good passes from the guys.”

Lehtera compares his linemates to those dominating Soviet Union teams of the 70’s and 80’s.

Blues win streak snapped as James Neal nets game winner in the third period

Nashville Predators Filip Forsberg of Sweden takes a slap shot in the third period against the St. Louis Blues in the third period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 8, 2014. Nashville won the game 2-1.   UPI/Bil Greenblatt

Nashville Predators Filip Forsberg of Sweden takes a slap shot in the third period against the St. Louis Blues in the third period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 8, 2014. Nashville won the game 2-1. UPI/Bil Greenblatt

James Neal’s third-period goal helped the Predators defeat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Saturday at Scottrade Center and snap St. Louis’ seven-game win streak.

Neal scored the game-winner on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle with 6:28 remaining after taking a drop pass from Filip Forsberg.

The Blues (9-4-1) got a first-period goal from Jori Lehtera. Elliott made 33 saves for St. Louis, which finished a stretch of four games in six days.