Let's be perfectly clear here. This was not payback. The Blues weren't angry with the New Jersey Devils for last week's 7-1 humiliation at the Prudential Center. “We don't hold a grudge against them for anything that happened in that game, Blues forward Brenden Morrow said. “It was a lot to do with them but more to do with us. If anything, we were mad at ourselves.” They officially got over it on Tuesday night. Playing in front of 16,099 at Scottrade Center, playing with a more characteristic intensity, the Note removed the six-goal stain from their memory altogether with a 3-0 victory over the same Devils. The victory improved the team's home mark to 19-5-2 and snapped a two-game losing skid at the Scotty, its worst home stretch of the season. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 shots to earn a fourth consecutive win and improve to 7-1-1 in his last nine starts. Eat your heart out Ryan Miller lobbyist. The shutout was the fourth for Halak, his record-extending 20th as a Blue, the 29th of his career. The Blues got goals from Alexander Steen, Morrow and Maxim Lapierre. If you were thinking this would be an eye for an eye, blowout for blowout, you were wrong. Oddly enough, the 23 shots were the same number New Jersey used to score seven goals last time. The Devils were not as efficient, but they were nearly as troublesome. "They play structured, disciplined hockey, with a lot of weight," Blues coach ken Hitchcock said. "You have to be prepared to dig in from the dots to the boards if you expect to beat them. "It's a really physically-, mentally-challenging game to play this team. They're a mature team. They play a mature brand of hockey. They're well-structured, well-coached and they make you pay for making errors." The Blues limited the mistakes. They had five giveaways, at least one of which was bouncing puck related, and they balanced the table with seven takeaways. They also supported Halak with 19 blocked shots. "Tonight was a lot of great blocks from all the guys and a huge performance," Halak said. "It was a really weird game that we played in Jersey. It seemed like everything they touched went in, and we just couldn't react. "I was hoping that game was over after the second period. Tonight was a different game. We knew we had to adjust and I'm glad we were able to do it." The Blues overcame an early obstacle when Roman Polak took a high-sticking penalty nine seconds into the game. For context, it takes the fireball from a nuclear explosion 10 seconds to reach its maximum size. So, that's a quick penalty.
Blues avenge blowout loss to Devils
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 29