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Blues’ franchise-best start continues with shootout win over Bruins

Nov 21, 2013, 10:52 PM EDT

St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Getty Images

Alexander Steen didn’t score in regulation or overtime Thursday, but it didn’t matter. The St. Louis Blues won anyway.

The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins with a 3-2 shootout victory, pushing their franchise-best start to 15-3-3. That temporarily put them ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for top spot in the Central Division, however the Blackhawks won in Winnipeg not long after to jump back ahead of St. Louis.

The win for St. Louis was a milestone victory for both the team and its head coach Ken Hitchcock.

On an individual level, Hitchcock recorded 620th career win, tying Bryan Murray for eighth on the NHL’s all-time list, according to the Blues.

The Blues have also won their last six games at the TD Garden.

Steen was held off the score sheet until the second round of the shootout. His goal helped extend the deciding skills competition into the fourth round, when Derek Roy scored the winner.

“If that’s the level, that’s a pretty high level,” Hitchcock said, as per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“We got the information we needed. It was a playoff game. It was very disciplined. Both teams really respected each other. But it was really a hard game.”

Steen entered the game with 17 goals, tied with Alex Ovechkin at the top of the league.

As you’ll recall, we previewed this game earlier in the day. It was also a match-up of two very strong teams only gaining strength in their respective conferences.

The Bruins had won six of their last seven games, while the Blues have now gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

  1. mcphillthy - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    St Louis is the real deal. The west is looking very strong this season. I’ve always quietly cheered for the blues and avs out west. Its fun hockey to watch with those teams this year.

    • hustleandflomax - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      As a Blues fan, I’m giddy for the win–especially because the Blues were BADLY outplayed by the Bruins. I came away from that game very impressed with the blend of speed, toughness and skill displayed by the Bruins.

  2. bruinsfan55 - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Great game blues. Having been at the game tonight was awesome one hell of a game, back and forth all night very emotional for both sides. Great game again Blues congrats on the franchise record best start

  3. peterjohnjoseph - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    The word shootout doesn’t belong in the same sentence as Bruins, Blues.

    Between that and the fluke that rolled between Rask’s legs, this game was as even as a game could possibly be, but the end ruined the feeling of an otherwise amazing game. Steen had without a single shot. Young defensemen stepping up. Depth on both teams kept this game close. I could watch these two teams forever.

    I hope I get 7 chances to in July…

    • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      *Steen held without a single shot.

      Sorry, typing fast. I’m still a little angry that that game had to be decided by a shootout. I’m sure the players felt the same way.

      It’s like you climb a mountain, and then to get the rest of the way to the top someone forces you to perform in a talent show to see who gets the helicopter ride the rest of the way. You climbed the entire time, and now a skills competition will decide who is King of the Mountain.

    • hockey412 - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      If it makes you feel better, without Marchand’s diving and the rest of the B’s hitting guys in the back every chance they got, it probably wouldn’t have even made it to a shootout. It’s actually a shame to see Iginla taking on those characteristics of that team. His dive into the boards was dangerous for himself last night.

      • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        My god.. I hope you are either too young to realize how bad you sound right now, or just a troll that comes out late at night to chide the Bruins or every team not the Blues. How after that game could you possibly take that away from it? Anyone who knows me on this board know I HATE Marchand. I want him shipped anywhere, and even I didn’t see this. I saw stuff after the whistle from both teams. Perfect. Their both hard teams. Dives last night are what ruined that game? I think you were wearing blue shaded glasses… If I want to be chide, I’d say Rask letting in a roller is what would have prevented overtime.. but then I wouldn’t be giving enough credit to a Blues team that deserves more respect than that.

      • hockey412 - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Did you NOT see Marchand flopping in the third? The guy jumped straight into the stanchion and Jackman got called. Not his only flop. Iginla’s was just as bad, just not called. I have no stock in the Blues, was just watching the game (though I have been a LONG time detractor of the way the B’s are taught not to have any respect for when they see another players numbers). I certainly didn’t say it ruined the game, was just sad to see.

      • brockohol - Nov 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        as a Blues fan…not so sure 6’4 225 Backes crushing you from behind/awkward back shoulder angle leaves you any option other than crashing head first into the boards. Judging by how mad Iggy was after the play I would venture to say that was not a flop.

        Marchands was a little suspect I guess but still a pretty valid interference penalty none the less.

      • hockey412 - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Ahhh, well, if you’re a Blues fan I guess that completely negates anyone else’s interpretation of the events that they actually saw with their own eyes, eh?

  4. ddefran87 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Were is the Boston vs St Louis narrative??? I know Craig Calcaterra would love to talk about it! Great game to watch. STL finally bests Boston.

  5. terrier92 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Just got home from game. Great entertaining game. Bruins played strong game. Blues are tough. Clean hardnosed hockey. Hate shotouts but whatever games have to end. 60 games to go till real season begins. Bruins young d did well . A few bad turnovers but what can you do. Go luck Blues. Also nice to see Bobby Orr in his old Bruins sweater……..awesome

  6. titansbro - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Blues are clearly a strong team. Would love to have seen this game actually decided by playing hockey but whatever. It was a great matchup of 2 similar teams & it was well played on both sides. Gotta respect the way STL plays.

  7. sabatimus - Nov 22, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    The first goal that Rask allowed was the softest goal I’ve ever seen.

  8. cubsfan101 - Nov 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Nice to see Bruins fans being respectful of the Blues. Reason this forum is better than PFT or HBT. Even after a loss, fans from one team still respect the other team here. On PFT, random trolls make up stats to bash other teams. HBT threads always turn political.

    That being said, great game from the Bruins. Thought their forecheck was gonna be what won it for them. A little bit surprised that Saint Louis won with the amount of time the Bruins had it in the Blues end. Would love to see this matchup in the Finals. Long live the Note!

    • hawksin5 - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:26 AM

      i think bruins, if they keep up this play will be right back in the finals. west is too hard to decide right now, but Bues, Hawks (except for bad game the other night), and avs look to be battling this one out. great game by both teams tonight.

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      To be fair, the PFT commenting pool sets perhaps the lowest bar for a mainstream sports site.

  9. jhaegs - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:07 AM

    Great game. Figured it was going to OT or SO. Weird seeing the Blues outmuscled, but the Bruins did exactly that for most of the game. Hats off to you, Boston. Good win Blues!

  10. arbruins - Nov 22, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Great game, the Blues are a good team…too bad the shoot out was what decided the final out come. I hope this part of the game goes away next year.

  11. patthehockeyfan - Nov 22, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Congrats to the Blues and to the Blues’ and Bruins’ fans – and especially those commenting here.

    Rask has never been a fan of the shootout, and I agree with him. Take it to one overtime. Still tied? Then, game over, and one point for each team.

    Speaking of Rask, I read an online article about him this morning. This description made me laugh: “So, it was no surprise the Finnish netminder had a stick-swinging nutty on the ice and was spewing out Finnish F-bombs postgame after a 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden.”

    Stick-swinging nutty? Finnish F-bombs? Ha-Ha!

    Secondly, the article included the sentence: “Abolishing the shootout completely isn’t a realistic option when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has championed it in the past, and is likely to do so again.”

    Bettman likes it. Isn’t that reason enough alone to abolish it?

  12. jcmeyer10 - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Waiter, I will take six more games of that please. Also, I know this sounds silly but that Campbell goal was just as lucky as the Blues second so I am glad this game wasn’t decided on those types of goals.

    The Soderberg and Backes goals were just plain ol beautiful hockey.

  13. amityvillefun - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    What the hell was Julien thinking putting Kelly in the shoot out that early?

    I hate to say it, but Claude screwed up on that call. Soderberg was playing very well last night and had hotter hands. Eriksson or Lucic or even Marchand would been better selections.

    Claude is so defensive minded, he can’t even get his best offensive guys in the shootout line up!

    Of course, Bergy didn’t let us down. He seldom does.

    • jcmeyer10 - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      I agree, Soderberg looked locked in. He was so confident on that goal. Gotta go with the hot hand and Soderberg had it.

      Eriksson looked tense on that set up. You could see him slump his shoulders right after the shot.

      • amityvillefun - Nov 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        It was a lame brain move to use a defensive specialist that early in the shootout. I was watching and I was like, “C’mon Claude….”

        Hopefully Neely and Chia-pet give him an earful for that move. They are paying other guys a lot more money to be scorers….not fricken Kelly.

        Don’t get me wrong, Kelly is a decent player, but not top three in the damn line up!

  14. jcmeyer10 - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    That felt like playoff hockey. Can we go back to a 48 game season?

  15. jhaegs - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    With only two penalties the entire game, I think overall it was a pretty clean one. Ian Cole got away with a crosscheck/boarding call, and the little rat got away with a flop. The first goals were pretty flukey and each team had a chance to win it with a breakaway in OT. Luckily, Tarasenko bailed out Halak, and the post bailed out Rask.

    I’m not sure where I stand on OT. Obviously the most fair thing would be to keep playing 4-on-4 hockey until someone scores, but they can’t afford to have marathon games all the time. Save that for the playoffs.

    I’m leaning towards leaving it as is, or playing a 10min 4-on-4. The losing team would get no points, but if it’s still tied, they split the 2pts.

    I hate when 2 of your division rivals play each other, and 3pts get handed out…

  16. jhaegs - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Statistically, the Bruins didn’t do that much better than the Blues. However, the physicality, speed, and offensive zone possessions tell a different story! I’m right there with you, because this game had me worried. Luckily, Halak stood on his head tonight, and the Blues weathered the storm. Phew!

  17. jhaegs - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    *last night…

  18. tdrusher225 - Nov 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    It’s a shame a game this good, hard-fought, and evenly matched had to be decided in a shootout. That being said, it was a hell of a game and this would be one of the MANY awesome potential SCF matchups the NHL might to offer this year.

  19. brockohol - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Anyone watching that game notice how bad the ice was? Guys were falling down all over the place and mishandling pucks left and right. Is Boston known for bad ice? Ive skated at Scottrade (STL) before and it is pretty bad but I have never seen it affect players the way the ice did last night.

    I actually disagree with everyone who is claiming this was a fast paced game in that it could/should have been much quicker and smoother. Every pass took an extra half second to settle down delaying fast fluid plays from developing. Everyone looked a step slower…in my opinion.

    Either way great game. Kinda wish there would have been a little more bad blood just to ramp up a “rivalry” but cant complain about a victory in Boston.

    • nhstateline - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      not usually and it wasn’t warm here or overly humid yesterday in Boston. I was surprised that they were having a lot of ice trouble but there was also a concert and a Celtics game in the building this week. I thought this was the most riveting game of the season so far that the Bruins have played at home. I really liked how both teams were trying to win as the third wound down and not playing for ot. The Blues have a very, very good team and one we don’t usually see much of so this was an outstanding night

      • brockohol - Nov 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        One of the Blues beatwriters tweeted a pic of the rink about an hour after the game and the boards/ice, etc were already down and the basketball floor was fully assembled. which is impressive but gotta make you wonder how going back and forth like that takes a toll on quality of ice.

        I just have been impressed with the Blues crispness of passes and fluid entry into zone/exit out of zone, speed, etc… all year and everything was so “mushy” last night. The Bruins were for sure wheelin and dealin in the O zone all night but I could even see with them it wasnt as smooth as it probably usually is. I felt as if both teams were even playing to the condition as well. Similar to one of the outdoor games where you can see that guys are more willing to do a simple chip in off the boards opposed to trying to make precise passes.

        Again, no complaints, great game. Look forward to seeing these two play again

  20. jhaegs - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Well, Oshie falls ALL the time… ;)

  21. jhaegs - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    So does Marchand, but that’s on purpose…

  22. arbruins - Nov 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    It’s too bad, the only thing hockey412 knows about the sport is how to spell it in his screen name

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