Blues’ Three-Game Homestand Garners Mixed Reviews

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues’ brief, three-game homestand didn’t start on the right foot.

The Blues began their homestand against the Boston Bruins at the Enterprise Center on Sunday, April 2. The Blues lost to the Bruins 4-3 in a shootout.

St. Louis fought back to earn a point against Boston. Boston’s one of the best teams in the NHL, so Blues fans should be happy that their team bounced back.

The Bruins were off to a fast start, as Jake DeBrusk opened the scoring with his 25th goal of the season at 5:51 in the first period. Tyler Bertuzzi’s power-play goal, his seventh of the season, at 7:18 and Oskar Steen’s first goal (of the season) at 8:02 made it 3-0 Bruins in the second period.

But the Blues rebounded, as Jordan Kyrou ended the Bruins’ shutout with his 35th goal of the season with just nine seconds left in the second period. Torey Krug’s seventh goal of the season and Kyrou’s second goal of the game — and 36th of the season — tied the game 3-3 after three periods.

Neither team scored a goal in overtime, so the game was decided in a shootout. Charlie Coyle scored the lone, game-winning goal in the shootout for the Bruins’ 4-3 win, their 60th of the season.

Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark made 35 saves for the win, while Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 28 saves in a losing effort.

After the game, St. Louis recognized Kyrou for his achievements. With his 35th and 36th goals of the season, the Canadian forward became just the fourth different St. Louis Blue to reach 70+ points in consecutive seasons in the last 26 years, joining Vladimir Tarasenko, Pavol Demitra, and Brett Hull.

The Blues resumed their homestand on Tuesday, April 4, hosting the Philadelphia Flyers on Pride Night. The Blues didn’t wear the Pride-themed warmup jerseys but held a Pride Night auction that benefited “Pride STL” and “You Can Play.”

The Blues got on the board first, thanks to Kyrou’s 37th goal of the season at 5:53 of the first period. The Blues’ scoring streak continued in the second period, as Tyler Pitlick scored his sixth goal (of the season) at 5:04. Justin Faulk made it 3-0 Blues at 8:26 of the second period. Sammy Blais nearly extended the Blues’ lead to 4-0 at 14:31 of the second period, but what could’ve been his ninth goal was overturned for offside after further review.

Most of the third period went to the Flyers. James van Riemsdyk ended the Blues’ shutout with his 11th goal of the season at 5:51. Morgan Frost made it a one-goal game with his 19th goal (of the season) at 11:43. The Flyers pulled their goaltender, Samuel Ersson, for an extra attacker late in the third period. Ersson left the ice with 28 saves.

The Flyers could’ve tied the game 3-3 and forced overtime, but the Blues’ Alexey Toropchenko scored an insurance, empty-net goal — his ninth of the season — with 32 seconds left in regulation. The Blues won 4-2, and Binnington made 31 saves.

The Blues wrapped up their homestand on Thursday, April 6, by hosting the New York Rangers. The Blues welcomed Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola back to the Enterprise Center.

After a scoreless first period, St. Louis finally opened up the scoring from Alexey Toropchenko, who scored his tenth goal of the season at 8:00 of the second period.

The Rangers tied the game 1-1 when former St. Louis Blue Vladimir Tarasenko scored a power-play goal — his 18th of the season — 1:55 into the third period. The Blues’ fourth line of Toropchenko, Nathan Walker, and Tyler Pitlick continued to shine, as Pitlick scored a go-ahead goal — his seventh of the season — for a 2-1 lead at 10:13 of the third period.

Once again, New York tied the game 2-2 on Vincent Trocheck’s power-play goal — his 21st of the season — at 17:57 of the third period to force overtime.

The Blues won the opening draw of overtime and won 3-2. Kasperi Kapanen scored the game-winning goal — his 15th of the season — 1:16 into overtime. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 21 saves for the win, while Rangers goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves in a losing effort.

The Blues visit the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, April 8, at 7:00 pm Central.

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Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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