If fans attending opening night Thursday had two wishes, they might have requested a Blues’ win and a Vladimir Tarasenko goal. They got both. Tarasenko scored his first of the season, and the Blues rallied to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 19,327 at Scottrade Center. Tarasenko tied the score in the second period, but the victory wouldn’t have been possible without Robby Fabbri’s first-career NHL goal in his league debut. The 19-year-old became the first Blue since Tarasenko in 2012 to net a goal on his first night in the club’s sweater. “I feel like I was just there yesterday,” Tarasenko said. “I know what he feels right now. He’s a great guy with a great personality. We wish him a lot of goals and we hope this is the first of many.” Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, who earned the victory, actually stopped every shot that Edmonton took on Thursday — all 23 of them — but an “own” goal was the difference in him not picking up his franchise-best 22nd shutout. The Blues were playing their sixth straight regular-season opener on home ice, but after this year’s early taste of home-cooking, they’ll now be relegated to room service, embarking on a six-game road trip that begins Saturday in Minnesota. The Wild had their fill of Tarasenko in the first round of last year’s playoffs, as the right winger posted six goals, including a hat trick, in the six-game series. Tarasenko picked up Thursday where he left off last April. His goal came midway through the game and tied the score 1-1, electrifying a crowd that had quieted after a pre-game ceremony that featured Cardinals catcher Yadi Molina dropping the ceremonial first puck. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo provided the up-ice feed, which Tarasenko took on his backhand as he crossed the blueline. The only obstacle between Tarasenko and the net was Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot, whom you may recall as the New York Rangers’ backup last season who was victimized by Tarasenko’s highlight-reel goal at Madison Square Garden. Eleven months later, Tarasenko was barreling in on Talbot on Thursday night, surveying his options. With Talbot perhaps thinking No. 91 would perform a little razzle-dazzle, Tarasenko instead let go of a snap-shot from 24 feet that cruised between the netminder’s legs. “I was a little bit nervous because it’s the first game and you always want to score fast on the first goal,” Tarasenko said. “It was a great play by Petro, great pass.” The Blues turned up the pace after jumping on the board, but were still tied, 1-1, at the end of the second period.
Blues roll to season-opening win over Oilers
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Oct 9