St. Louis Blues Take Care of the Ottawa Senators 5-2

St. Louis was in cruise control against Ottawa as they defeated the Senators 5-2

After the Ottawa Senators 4-1 Super Bowl Sunday victory over the Washington Capitals, they welcomed the St. Louis Blues as they tried to go for back-to-back wins.

Just like the game on Saturday against the Bruins, Ottawa started out incredibly sloppy. Near the end of the period, the shots were 13-4 for the Blues, and it was a shock to see that the score was still 0-0. However, that luck didn’t last forever, as Brayden Schenn put St. Louis on the board with 6:40 to go. Matt Murray had no chance on the play as there was a scramble for the puck in the slot and Schenn was able to find the puck for a shot. Unsurprisingly, Murray didn’t see the shot at all, and it was 1-0 for St. Louis.

A few minutes later, the Blues took an ill-advised too many men penalty, giving the Senators chance to get back into the game before heading to the next period. Erik Brännström made a nice outlet pass to Brady Tkachuk, who then made a soft deflection to Tim Stützle. Stützle’s speed was too much as he scored a brilliant goal to tie the score at 1:

After the first period, Ottawa was lucky to be tied 1-1, as the 5v5 shot attempts were 22-10 for St. Louis.

The second period was even more eventful, although not always for the best reasons. Less than 2 minutes into the period, Nick Paul took a tripping penalty, and Vladimir Tarasenko was able to take advantage of that. His shot from the upper slot was perfectly placed, making it almost a guarantee to go in. Just a few minutes after that, Tarasenko would team up once again with Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich, but this time at even strength.

Some phenomenal passing between the three of them led to Thomas being wide open, giving him an easy finish past Murray. It was 3-1, and the Blues had complete control of the game. Ottawa needed to at least get some sort of momentum soon or else the game was going to get away from them.

Thankfully, they didn't let the game get completely out of hand, as a shift that began with a great Clark Bishop forecheck ended with a deflection from Parker Kelly for his second career goal:

The Senators were making it difficult on themselves though, as Alex Formenton and Nikita Zaitsev both took tripping penalties to give St. Louis a 5-on-3. They could have easily added to their lead if it weren’t for the other goaltender Nick Holden:

Despite outshooting the Senators 22-13, the Blues were only up 3-2 heading into the final frame.

Early in the third, Ottawa had a glorious opportunity to not only tie it up but potentially even take the lead. Ivan Barbashev took a hooking penalty and then the Blues had too many men on the ice again, which gave the Senators a 5-on-3 for 1:14. After some great passing, Stützle had a fantastic chance at the side of the net but unfortunately hit the post. It looked like a shoo-in that they were going to score eventually, but Ville Husso (and the Blues defensemen) thwarted their attacks.

Ottawa couldn’t get very much going afterwards. St. Louis scored once more at even strength, as Oskar Sundqvist was in the right place at the right time after a Justin Faulk point shot ricocheted off the boards. It was 4-2 for the Blues, plus there was more bad news: Murray was out of the game as well after colliding with Sundqvist.

Hopefully he will be good to go next game because it would be devastating for this to break his momentum.

After that goal, Ottawa wasn’t able to muster up very much, and Tarasenko was able to put the game away for good with an empty-netter with 2:11 to go in the game. The final was 5-2 for St. Louis.

Notable Performances

  • Brännström had two assists tonight, and it was evident that he was the only offensive-minded defenseman out there. Not having Thomas Chabot out there obviously made a massive difference.
  • Murray allowed four goals for the first time in eight games (January 15th vs. Edmonton in a 6-4 win). Despite that, it would’ve been difficult for any goalie to allow any less than four tonight. His health is very important in the immediate future.
  • It’s hard to expect too much with a lineup that has no Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson, Josh Norris, Shane Pinto, or Colin White. Against a good team like St. Louis, I’m not surprised by the Blues dominance at all.
  • Nick Holden played a team-high 21:39 tonight, which is quite low for the tops on the team. Without so many top players, DJ has no choice but to spread the wealth./

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