The Blues finally got it done after the extra overtime period.
Before Saturday’s contest, the Blues were 0-5 in the shootout this season, scoring only one goal in that time. It was a different story at Scottrade Center tonight.
The Blues converted on one of their three shootout attempts tonight, coming off the stick of Kevin Shattenkirk in the second round. Jaroslav Halak backstopped the rest of the shootout, giving them a 3-2 victory in the game over the Minnesota Wild.
“It felt like I had lost about 20 pounds when I came back to the bench,” Shattenkirk said about scoring in the shootout. “It was unbelievable. Even just getting one goal and getting the win is huge for us.”
“Our confidence was really low [heading into the shootout] because we lost every one of them,” Halak said. “It feels great to win the first one of the season. Hopefully there are many to come.”
The Blues are once again in first place in the Central Division and second in the Western Conference.
The shootout was not the only story in this game. The referees handed out 65 minutes in penalties, including six fighting majors and three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Combatants in this game included Justin Falk and David Backes, Clayton Stoner and Chris Stewart and Brad Staubitz and Ryan Reaves.
The goals were harder to come by than any feisty play. Wild goaltender Josh Harding made 47 saves on 49 St. Louis shots, while Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves on 31 Wild shots.
“[Harding] played well,” Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “You got to give a guy credit when credit is due. We shot a lot of pucks into his glove. We just kept forgetting that he is an opposite catcher.”
The goal-scoring opened with Wild forward David McIntyre scoring at the 7:13 mark of the first period, after teammate Darroll Powe beat Roman Polak to a loose puck and slid it to Matt Cullen, who found McIntyre in the left face-off circle. McIntyre beat Halak over the left shoulder for his first career NHL goal to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.
The Blues battled back in the second period, scoring two goals just 2:35 apart. David Perron capitalized after Chris Stewart’s shot in the slot was blocked at the defense and it bounced to Perron, who picked up the loose change and fired it past Harding.
The second goal came on the power-play, after Perron weaved his way along the left-wing boards to get the puck to the middle. T.J. Oshie found Backes in front, who tapped it to the other side of the net to Alex Pietrangelo. He buried the shot from the backdoor for his seventh goal of the season.
Jared Spurgeon would tie the game up at 16:32 of the second period on a slapshot that found its way through traffic untouched. Halak got a piece of it but it was not enough as Spurgeon had beaten the Blues on the power-play.
Harding and Halak kept the rest of the game scoreless until Shattenkirk’s goal in the shootout.
“If you came to the arena to watch tonight, for me, you got your money’s worth,” said Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock. “It had everything.”
The Blues’ next game will be this Monday, as they will host the Dallas Stars at 6:30 pm at Scottrade Center.