Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blues cap off Brett Hull Night with victory

Oshie nets game-winner after Golden Brett compares himself to team's rising star

ST. LOUIS -- On the night the Blues honored one of their greats in Brett Hull, it was current Blue T.J. Oshie, who many tout will have the same kind of clout Hull once held in this city, that capped off a much-needed victory for the current squad.

And he did it Hull's way -- with a lethal wrist shot a goalie virtually has no chance of stopping.

With Hull watching up above, Oshie's goal late in the third period turned out to be the game-winner, something 'The Golden Brett' was quite accustomed to in his days playing here that gave the Blues a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames Tuesday night in front of 19,150 at Scottrade Center.

"I went in and I saw T.J. Oshie and he reminds me of me when I was a kid and it just brought back a flood of memories of when I got traded here and walking into the old Arena and going, 'I'm going to show these guys what I got,'" Hull said earlier in the day. "That's the way he is."

Oshie was unaware that Hull made comparisons to him beforehand, but it was ironic that he would step up to the stage and net the game-winner with 4 minutes, 58 seconds left in the game off a terrific curl feed from Paul Kariya. Oshie waited out goalie Curtis McElhinney and snapped a wrister under the bar.

"Paulie just made a great pass," Oshie said of his sixth of the season. "I tried to find a hole, but there were a bunch of sticks and skates in the way. I'm not sure exactly how it went through.

"It was late in the period with a tied score, so I didn't want to get caught on the wrong side of the puck."

The Blues (14-12-5), who take on Chicago at 7:30 p.m. today at United Center, finally got some much-needed relief at home and improved to 5-10-2 here in this building.

They used the emotions of Brett Hull Hall of Fame Night to grab a pair of leads before seeing the Flames (19-10-4) go ahead in the second period but rallied to earn the victory.

With a tied score going into the third, the Blues did what they do best in winning the final 20 minutes and ultimately the game.

"The things that we talked about there in the last game, the willingness to battle 1-on-1, to win their confrontations, committed to get a win here tonight," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "That was certainly missing in our third period against Edmonton."

Andy McDonald scored a goal and added an assist -- McDonald's first goal in 15 games, David Backes had a goal and an assist and Brad Boyes tallied three assists in the game.

"When Brad Boyes moves his feet, he's a dangerous player," Murray said. "I thought Andy was skating tonight."

Alex Steen's power play goal late in the second period tied the game 3-3 when it looked like the Blues would be trailing going into the third.

"I think we were more mentally strong," Steen said. "I think we played throughout the 60 minutes. We kept our work ethic up. We're aggressive but still patient and played our game and we got the results. Great goal, great pass by Paulie to Osh and there's no question in Osh's mind it's going in so it's nice to see."

Backes won a battle near the Calgary blue line and worked it to Kariya, who brought the puck back into the slot from the left circle to an awaiting Oshie.

"I thought it was a great pass," Murray said. "I heard a little clink there, so he must have put it under the inside of the bar, right up top underneath. Good shot, good pass, good rush, execution, all the way around. Good pressure to the seam to the net that opened up the lane for Osh and Paul made a good pass."

The Blues scored just 3:56 into the game with Backes giving them the lead, as they used the emotions of Hull and all the past Blues greats.

"To come out and get the first goal was big," Boyes said. "... We wanted to play hard and play well obviously. I think the festivities helped us, but at the same time, it was a big game."

Calgary, which got goals from Rene Bourque, Daymond Langkow and Dustin Boyd, tied it before McDonald received a sweet pass from Boyes, flew down the right side and beat McElhinney with a snap shot with 1:09 left in the first.

"Before I got the puck, I kind of saw him take off and I saw their forward, who I assumed would have been with him, kind of played in the middle a little bit and I assumed the D-man would come up on me," Boyes said. "I just got it and tried to throw it up to him. Obviously with his wheels, he took that to the net and made a great play."

Langkow scored early in the second to tie it and Boyd gave Calgary a 3-2 lead 10:25 into the second, but Steen's goal with 2:37 left in the second made it 3-3 and Oshie, who acknowledged meeting Hull Tuesday scored the lone goal of the third.

"I met Hullie today and took a look at his stick," Oshie said. "I told him to critique mine a little bit. That was amazing meeting him."

When told of the comparison, Oshie laughed, "That's nice. No pressure.

"I don't know if I can get that many goals, but it was nice to be compared to him. ... It felt nice to get the game-winner."

No comments:

Post a Comment