The Blues toed the line in the finale of their four-game road trip Saturday against the New York Islanders. They received two goals from Vladimir Tarasenko but trailed by a goal in the closing minutes. T.J. Oshie rang a shot that hit the right post, shot across the goal line, hit the left post and then rolled away. It looked as if the Blues might roll out of town with a loss, but with 26 seconds remaining in regulation, Oshie did indeed tie the score, sending the game to overtime. The Islanders looked as if they had won the game in OT, but a goal by Thomas Vanek was overturned after video review. The Blues had new life, and after the game went to a shootout, Kevin Shattenkirk was the hero for the second straight night with the clincher in a 4-3 shootout win. Alexander Steen offset Thomas Vanek's shootout marker with one of his own, and then Shattenkirk sealed the win by beating Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin. Shattenkirk had the game-winning power-play goal in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. The Blues picked up their 75th point and are now just one point behind Chicago for the Central Division lead. The club finished its four-game road trip with a record of 3-1 and will return home to host New Jersey on Tuesday. The victory Saturday, improving the Blues to 17-6-3 on the road, didn't come with any breathing room. The Blues, who trailed the Islanders 2-0 in the first period before Tarasenko got them going, were behind 3-2 entering the third period. They outshot the Islanders 14-7 in third period and had several chances to tie the game. Oshie's double-post shot looked to be their last chance, but after being denied that time, Oshie followed up about three minutes later by sending a puck through traffic that got through Poulin. The game went to overtime, where Vanek thought he had his second goal of the game with 1 minute, 15 seconds left in OT. With Jaden Schwartz in the penalty box for tripping, the Islanders were on the power play and a loose puck went in off the skate of Vanek. It didn't appear that there was a distinct kicking motion, but nonetheless, the goal was overturned. The Islanders were buzzing from the drop of the puck Saturday and most of the buzzing was the NHL's top line over the past month. Since Dec. 17, the trio of John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo had combined for 70 points in the last 18 games, with Tavares (26) leading the league in that stretch. They added to their totals in the first period against the Blues, who were sloppy in their own zone early on Saturday. The puck popped out on the side of the team's net and Okposo pushed it to Vanek, who put it past Jaroslav Halak in the top corner for his 19th goal of the season. The Islanders' productive line handed the club a 1-0 lead just 4:01 into the game, and had several more chances before cashing in a second time. This time, Vanek gave the puck to Okposo, who stopped on his trail behind the net, throwing off Halak. Okposo returned and stuffed his 22nd goal of the season inside the post for a 2-0 advantage with 4:49 left in the opening period. Looking for offense, the Blues tinkered their lines, returning to the top line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie. But the offense they needed came from Tarasenko, who had gone five games without a goal.
Oshie saves the day; Blues win in shootout over Islanders
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 26