Saturday, March 25, 2017

Flames score late in OT to top Blues 3-2

Monahan goal with 2.5 seconds remaining halts St. Louis' 
winning streak at four; all three Calgary goals go in off Blues skates, stick

ST. LOUIS -- Jake Allen made all the saves that were cleanly thrown his way by the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Unfortunately for the Blues' goalie, he was the recipient of some bad-luck bounces off his own teammates' skates and stick, including one too many skates in overtime.

Sean Monahan's centering pass off center Kyle Brodziak's skate got past Allen with 2.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Flames a 3-2 victory over the Blues before 19,516 at Scottrde Center in a game packed with playoff-like intensity.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) looks to move the puck past
Flames center Sam Bennett Saturday night at Scottrade Center.

With the Blues (40-28-6) practically scrambling most of the overtime period, Monahan, who nearly won it seconds earlier but missed the net from the slot and was robbed by Allen with 1 minute, 45 seconds to play in the OT, was trying to feed a backdoor pass to Michael Frolik. Instead, the puck caromed off Brodziak and into the net before the Blues could get it to a shootout.

"There were 15 seconds there and (Mark) Giordano made a great play in the slot and I missed that one and I tried to feed it back door and it bounced in off Jake for a great win," Monahan said. "You never know when you throw pucks at the net, anything can happen. That's a good bounce, a lucky bounce and we'll take it." 

"It's hockey. Unlucky bounces," Allen said. "... We got a point, moved ahead. Positive. Didn't go backwards."

Former Blue Troy Brouwer and Matt Bartkowski each scored, and former Blues goalie Brian Elliott made 29 saves for the Flames (42-29-4), who went 1-2-0 on a three-game road trip.

Elliott, who spent the past five seasons with the Blues, improved to 13-1-1 in his past 15 starts with a 1.84 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in his first head-to-head matchup against Allen.

Ivan Barbashev and Jaden Schwartz scored for St. Louis (40-28-6), who lost for the first time in five games. Allen made 28 saves for St. Louis, which fell one point behind the Nashville Predators for third in the Central Division after the Predators defeated the San Jose Sharks 7-2.

The Blues were nine points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings, who were playing the New York Rangers late on Saturday, for the second wild card in the Western Conference. 

The Blues lamented that they played too defensive in overtime, didn't take care of the puck when they had it and had three goals go off them past Allen.

"They had the puck a lot (in overtime)," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "It's tough when all three goals go in off your own guys. You feel bad for Jake, who played the way he did. If you're going to give up three goals off your own guys, it means probably for the most part you're doing a good job defensively."

"We didn't really have the puck a whole lot obviously," said Blues coach Mike Yeo, whose team was outshot 6-1 in the extra period. "It's tough when you don't start with the puck. They were smart with how they played it, they were patient, they didn't take wasteful shots and obviously they've got some skill over there where they can work it around. They made it tough for us to get the puck back."

Pietrangelo, whose delay of game penalty with 2:04 remaining could have cost the Blues a point had the Flames scored late in regulation, had the Blues' best chance in the overtime when he had a 2-on-1 with Schwartz but never got a shot off and instead tried to stop on a dime and make a pass back.

"Puck just stopped moving," Pietrangelo said. "It's no different than my penalty at the end. That was a tough sheet to play on. You could see a lot of pucks, it was not a pretty game in terms of the puck moving out there. A lot of guys were losing the puck.

"I've got to find a way to make that play, but it is what it is."

Brouwer, who played for the Blues last season, put the Flames ahead 1-0 on a shot from the right faceoff circle that appeared to hit defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's stick and go over Allen at 17:11 of the first period.

But that's not what upset the Blues most. It was what the Blues felt was an egregious penalty called by referee Brian Pochmara, who whistled Scottie Upshall for slashing that ended with a scrum in front of Elliott and led to the Flames' power play.

Replays showed there was no slash by Upshall, but the whole scrum started when Upshall was facewashed by Flames defenseman TJ Brodie, who escaped unscathed without any infraction.

Yeo obviously voiced his displeasure, and costing the Blues a goal in the process made it even worse.

"Yeah, I thought so," Yeo said. "Tough call there, but I also felt that we deserved more than one power play tonight, but we're not going to sit here and complain about breaks or bounces.

"There were some things we could have done a little better in the game and so here we are."

The Blues had one power play in the game; the Flames had three.

The Blues tied it 1-1 when Barbashev stayed with his own rebound and scored from the slot at 8:08 of the second period. Barbashev's goal came as a result of a solid centering pass from defenseman Colton Parayko off the rush following Nail Yakupov's pass and the ability to stay patient and persistent after Barbashev's initial shot was blocked. Barbashev stayed with it and beat Elliott high with a wrist shot.

"At first, 'Yak' made a hell of a play on the blue line, and passed it to Colton, it was a better pass from Colton to be honest," Barbashev said. "After the first shot, the legs of the 'D' or someone, I saw the puck was going back, I was 100 percent sure someone was going to be there but I got lucky. There was no one and I just had to put the puck in an empty net."

"That was a beauty," Parayko said. "He's been playing really well right now. It's a lot of fun to see for a guy like him to come up and play like that and be an impact every night."

Schwartz said recently that once he starts to score, they'll go in in weird ways.

Chalk up another one when Schwartz put the Blues on top 2-1 at 7:16 of the third period after following up a point shot.

Bouwmeester's shot was redirected by Brodziak on goal that Elliott stopped, but Schwartz came from the other side and the puck caromed in off his skate as he was trying to settle it.

The officials looked at it and deemed it a goal.

Elliott didn't agree.

"I thought it was a blatant kicking motion by 'Schwartzy,'" Elliott said.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (right) celebrates with teammate Ivan
Barbashev after Barbashev scored in the second period Saturday night.

But Bartkowski tied it 2-2 when his shot from the left circle went in off Bouwmeester's skate at 10:53 on a delayed penalty.

"That's a tough one," Parayko said. "Obviously the way that they went in, but it's hockey. Throw pucks towards the net, you never know what's going to happen. That's just the way the game goes sometimes. It's one of those things we've got to take in, come back Monday and win another hockey game."

Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland prevented Barbashev's first two-goal game in the NHL when he blocked a rebound attempt with 15:07 to play.

"It felt like a playoff game today," Barbashev said. "Both teams played a helluva game today. It's kind of a tough loss."

The Loss was the Blues' first wearing their Winter Classic uniforms; they fell to 4-0-1 with them and will wear them the final two home games of the regular season.

No comments:

Post a Comment