Still smarting from a 7-1 loss at New Jersey a week ago, their
worst loss of the season, the Blues were determined to show they
were a much better team than the one that was on the ice that night.
Goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 shots to earn his fourth shutout of
the season, making a first-period goal from left wing Alexander
Steen stand up until the middle of the third period before two late
goals completed the Blues' 3-0 victory over the Devils.
The shutout extended Halak's franchise record to 20 career shutouts
with the Blues and was the 29th of his NHL career, a far cry from
when he relieved Brian Elliott in the first period against New
Jersey last week and surrendered four goals himself.
"It was a really weird game when we played in New Jersey," Halak
said. "Everything seemed like it went in and everything they touched
seemed like it was a scoring chance. We just couldn't react. I can
speak for myself. I was hoping the game was over after the second
period. Tonight we knew we had to adjust."
The Blues scored just 3:35 into the first period when Steen buried a
wrist shot from the slot past goalie Cory Schneider. It was the
Blues' first shot on goal in the game. The goal, off assists from
left wing Jaden Schwartz and center David Backes, was Steen's 27th
of the season and the 100th in his career with the Blues.
Steen took the goal as a sign that this was going to be a better
"We just played our style of game," Steen said. "We got away from
that in New Jersey. It was nice to play them quickly again. You
can't dwell for weeks at a time on one game. Put that one in the
garbage and keep going."
The goal came after the Devils failed to capitalize on a power-play
opportunity when Blues defenseman Roman Polak was called for
high-sticking just nine seconds into the game. It was the first of
three New Jersey power plays the Blues were able to kill off in the
Center Vladimir Sobotka almost gave the Blues a 2-0 lead with just
under five minutes to play in the second period but his shot on a
3-on-1 break hit the goal post and bounced away from the net.
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Left wing Brenden Morrow did make it 2-0 with a power-play goal at
9:22 of the third period, deflecting a shot by defenseman Jay
Bouwmeester while New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador was serving a
minor tripping penalty.
An empty-net goal by center Maxim Lapierre with 2:08 to play made
the final 3-0.
The win came after the Blues had rebounded from the loss with
consecutive road wins over the New York Rangers and Islanders, and
that was when coach Ken Hitchcock saw the response that he wanted to
"When you play two games in between, a week seems like a month,"
Hitchcock said. "For me the response wasn't so much the way we
played against New Jersey; it was the way we played against the
Rangers — the right response."
The Devils, who were shut out for the sixth time this season but the
first time since Nov. 15, knew what to expect from the Blues in this
"Obviously they're an elite team in this league and I thought we
played a pretty solid road game," Schneider said. "We kind of took
over in the second but obviously it wasn't good enough. We had a
chance to at least get some points and we just didn't do it."
The lack of offense and generating just five shots on goal in the
final period was the biggest concern for Devils coach Peter DeBoer.
"We've got to find a way to get points," DeBoer said. "We didn't
score. We didn't generate enough offense."
NOTES: The game was the first the Devils had played in St. Louis
since Nov. 20, 2010. There are only seven players left on the Blues'
roster who played in that game. ... LW Magnus Paarjavi was back in
the St. Louis lineup after being a healthy scratch in the team's
last game on Saturday. ... The game was the first of three
consecutive games on the road for the Devils, who play Thursday
night in Dallas. ... The Blues have five games remaining before the
Olympic break, and the only road contest in that stretch is Friday
night at Carolina.
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