This was a classic matchup of two teams who hate each other. The Jackets had a 3-0 lead midway through the game, but the Blues were able to crawl their way back and tie it at three goals apiece. That score held up until the end of regulation, and to nobody's surprise this game went to overtime.
You won't like what happened next.
The Jackets got a scare early in the first when Derick Brassard (yes, that same Brassard who was just activated off IR...) slid to block a shot and took the puck off the end of the toe. He struggled to get off the ice and was in obvious pain on the bench. Luckily though, he returned and didn't miss a beat, creating multiple chances for linemates Nash and Voracek. Brass still wasn't able to take every faceoff however.
Sammy Pahlsson went off for hooking, but the Blues were unable to convert on the powerplay. Other highlights from the first period include wide-open looks for Brassard and Voracek in close, but they weren't able to get the puck past Halak.
After a slight delay while the arena crew fixed an issue with the glass, some controversy bubbled up. On what appeared to be Ian Cole's first NHL goal, he shot the puck toward the net from a sharp angle, and while it beat an out-of-position Mathieu Garon, the goal was waved off because the ref's called Cam Janssen for goaltender interference. What happened was Jared Boll borderline slewfooted Janssen as he went to the net, and Janssen bumped Garon. The normally level-headed Darren Pang was beside himself on the Blues broadcast.
End of the first period: 0-0.
The second period started with the Jackets dominating play. At 1:43 of the second, Nash received the puck after a T.J. Oshie turnover, skated up the right wing and feathered a pass cross-ice to Brass. Brass then slid the puck toward the net where Jake Voracek redirected it in to make it 1-0.
The band is back together.
A few minutes later, and more controversy. On what appeared to be goaltender interference by Derek MacKenzie (he checked Cole into goaltender Halak), the refs ended up calling Cole for delay of game. I'll keep my mouth shut if a bad call goes our way, but man, the officiating crew isn't bringing their "A" game tonight.
The play levelled out midway through the second, but after a series of end-to-end play, the fourth line stepped up. Jared Boll, crusing up the left wing, dropped a pass right into Derek MacKenzie's wheelhouse for a one-timer. DMac's shot found the back of the net, 3-0 Jackets.
The play for both sides became a bit sloppy and disjointed, before Alex Pietrangelo wired a wrister behind Garon to cut the lead to 3-1. Pietrangelo is one integral part in what is becoming a super-talented and eclectic group of young blueliners in St.Louis. Combine him with guys like Cole, Kevin Shattenkirk and Nikita Nikitin, and you have the makings of a dominant blueline.
A piece of bad news however, as Blues forward Alex Steen was injured and did not return.
End of the Second Period: 3-1 Jackets.
The third period started with some karma kicking the Jackets in the butt. Ian Cole, who thought he had scored his first of his career in the first, was set up with a one-timer that hopped over Garon's shoulder to make it 3-2.
The Jackets spent the next five minutes on their heels, allowing the Blues to dipsy-doodle their way into their end. The garbage play allowed Chris Stewart to tie the game up on a jam play in front.
At the eight minute mark of the third, the Jackets went on the powerplay. This represented a huge opportunity for the Jackets to regain their lead, but the team was unable to convert, despite having a handful of chances. One ugly stat however, was that the first shot on the PP was the Jackets' first shot in 18 plus minutes.
A couple of minutes later the Jackets went back on the powerplay. The Jackets were able to maintain possession for the better part of a minute after the penalty was called, and with Garon back at the bench the Jackets moved the puck around the umbrella with Vermette being fed a one-time pass. He ripped it but it hit iron. The powerplay itself failed to bear fruit.
Things were feisty and physical for the remainder of the third period, with the Jackets showing some life near the end.
Surprise, surprise, the fans get free hockey. End of regulation: 3-3.
The overtime period didn't last long. On the first shift of OT, Chris Stewart flew up the wing, deked Grant Clitsome out of his shorts and ended the game.
Final Score: 4-3 Blues in Overtime.
- Derick Brassard - Was making things happen in his return, he's the glue on the top line.
- Spandex Kids by the Blues Penalty Box- Haha I can't get enough of that stuff. It's harmless, and the kids were having a blast.
- Chris Stewart - the guy has paid immediate dividends, and then some, for St.Louis since coming over from Colorado.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- The Powerplay - O-fer at this point in the season, with so much on the line, is unacceptable.
- Columbus Blue Jackets, after allowing the first St.Louis goal - Need I say more?
- Rick Nash - Somebody should call his folks, the guy's been missing for a while.
Giving up a three goal lead at home, to a team below you in the standings, while fighting for a playoff spot? Disappointing doesn't even tell the half of it.