PITTSBURGH – The St. Louis Blues headed to Pennsylvania to take on Sidney Crosby and Co. after a tough loss Tuesday night at home. Determined to succeed, the Blues fired 43 shots on goal, winning 3-2 in overtime. Alex Pietrangelo scored the game winner and goaltender Brian Elliott won his eighth of the season, stopping 31 of 33 shots on goal.
Scott Nichol started the scoring in the first period, with his first goal as a Blue. Nichol picked off a pass through the Penguins’ zone and fired a slap shot at Marc-Andre Fleury. The shot deflected off of defenseman Paul Martin’s stick, splitting the stick in two.
The Blues held the Penguins to just four shots in the first. After dominating the first period, the Blues looked to continue the trend in the second. Despite both teams hitting posts and a disallowed goal, neither team added a marker to the scoreboard. Blues captain David Backes had the best chance when he slid the puck past Fleury, but after the play was reviewed, it was determined Backes executed a distinct kicking motion that resulted in the goal being disallowed.
Early in the third period, T.J. Oshie drew an unfortunate penalty for hooking inside the offensive zone. On the ensuing Penguin powerplay, Evgeni Malkin fed the puck to Steve Sullivan, who buried it to tie the game.
The Blues responded 10:45 into the period. Jamie Langenbrunner roofed the puck past a sprawling Fleury to give the Blues the edge. However, the Blues would not retain their second lead of the evening. With just over five minutes left to play in regulation, Pens’ winger James Neal beat Elliott from just inside the left faceoff circle to even the score. Elliott gave up two goals in one period for the first time all season.
Despite pressure applied by both teams after the equalizing goal, the teams were tied after sixty minutes.
Overtime saw a few shots from the Penguins, but overall, a lot of the play in the neutral zone. Eventually, the Blues got in deep to pressure the Penguins. On the cycle in the offensive zone, Matt D’Agostini slid the puck along the boards to a perched Vladimir Sobotka. Sobotka found Pietrangelo streaking through the slot. Pietrangelo caught Fleury moving post-to-post and easily slid the puck to the back of the net.
After the game, Pietrangelo was ecstatic about the Blues win. He acknowledged the dominance of the Blues through the first two periods of regulation: “We want to dictate the pace of play. I think we did that.” Pietrangelo also expressed excitement about gaining two points in Pittsburgh—a building in which it is notoriously difficult to win.
The Blues come home Friday to take on the Calgary Flames. This season against the Flames, the Blues are 1-1. The game starts at 7 p.m. CST and airs on Fox Sports Midwest.
- Sidney Crosby has never scored a goal against the Blues in six meetings.
- The Blues elected to scratch Chris Porter and Evgeny Grachev for Wednesday night’s game. Peoria’s leading scorer, Brett Sterling (12 goals, 10 assists in 18 games), stepped into the lineup. This was also Chris Stewart’s first game back in the lineup, having served a three game suspension.
- For the late hit in Tuesday night’s game against T.J. Oshie, LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was fined $2,500. He received no suspension.
- The Blues have won two games in overtime this season; both times, Sobotka has received the primary assist on the GWG. It will be difficult for Ken Hitchcock to demote him when David Perron returns to the lineup.
- Brian Elliott is now 8-1-0 with a .946 Sv % and a 1.48 GAA.