The St. Louis Blues offense erupted for its highest one-game output in 17 years Saturday night as they thoroughly dominated the Anaheim Ducks 9-3.
T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Andy McDonald, Alex Steen, and Alex Pietrangelo all had three-point nights, and newcomers Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk had a pair of goals, and an assist respectively in their first game since being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche.
The nine goals were the most that a Blues team had scored in one game since beating the Ottawa Senators 11-1 on Feb., 26, 1994.
Not everyone was on top of their game for the Blues, however, as starting goalie Ty Conklin gave up three goals on five shots in the first period and was replaced by backup Ben Bishop. Bishop stopped all 20 shots the rest of the way for his first win since Oct. 2008 when he beat the Florida Panthers.
Despite the dominant performance, the game started in a rather lackluster fashion for the Blues, as they allowed two goals in the first seven minutes of the game.
Jarkko Ruutu got Anaheim on the board early with his third goal of the season at the 2:20 mark when he walked out from behind the Blues’ goal and flipped a shot towards the net that Conklin initially saved, but the puck bounced off his shoulder and in for the 1-0 lead.
Teemu Selanne made it 2-0 Ducks when he stole the puck from Brad Boyes at the Blues’ blueline and walked in and beat Conklin with a shot over his blocker for his 19th goal of the season. The goal was the 625th of Selanne’s career, tying him with Joe Sakic for 14th overall in NHL history.
The Blues finally were able to get on the board at 10:24 of the first period when McDonald made a great deflection of Oshie’s point shot past Ducks goalie Curtis McIlhinney for his 11th goal of the season.
Before the crowd could finish celebrating McDonald’s goal, Oshie broke in with Steen right off the next faceoff and scored his fifth goal of the season on a backhander just seven seconds later.
St. Louis took the lead when Carlo Colaiacovo scored his fifth of the season on the power play at the 14:28 mark. Colaiacovo’s shot from the point deflected off a Ducks player in front of the goal and past McIlhinney. It was Colaiacovo’s first goal in 19 games.
The lead was short-lived however, as the Ducks came back just 2 minutes and 14 seconds later to tie the game. Ryan Getzlaf walked in over the Blues blueline and snapped a wrist shot for his 15th goal of the season. Conklin got a piece of the shot with his right pad, but the puck trickled through his legs and into the net.
Blues head coach Davis Payne had seen enough at that point and pulled Conklin in favor of Bishop.
The Blues responded just a minute and 42 seconds later when McDonald scored his second goal of the game and 12th of the season to give the Blues a 4-3 lead. McDonald flipped a shot towards the Ducks’ goal as Backes streaked to the front of the net, and the shot deflected off the back of Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman, who was covering Backes, and past a suprised McIlhinney.
The Ducks changed goalies to start the second period, replacing McIlhinney with rookie Timo Pielmeier. But the change didn’t make a difference as the Blues scored four more times in the period.
Backes scored his 22nd goal of the season to make it 5-3 Blues at 7:50 of the second period when he knocked in a rebound off Boyes’ initial shot on goal.
Oshie made it 6-3 with his second goal of the game and sixth of the season at the 12:45 mark on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle while on a 3-on-2 break with Patrik Berglund and Alex Pietrangelo. It was the first two-goal game of Oshie’s career.
The Ducks thought they had scored a goal two minutes later, but forward Corey Perry was erroneously whistled for goalie interference on the play.
The resulting power play led to Chris Stewart’s first goal as a member of the Blues. Stewart was standing in front of the net and took a short pass from McDonald and beat Pielmeier for his 14th goal of the season at 15:21.
The normally mild-mannered Teemu Selanne complained too vigorously about Perry’s penalty after the goal and was given two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct, putting the Blues right back on the power play less than a minute later.
Stewart scored his second power play goal of the period and 15th goal of the season when he deflected Shattenkirk’s point shot over Pielmeier’s shoulder to make it 8-3 Blues.
Alex Steen finished off the scoring at 7:21 of the third period when he came in shorthanded, faked a shot, walked around the Ducks defenseman and slid the puck past Pielmeier for his 17th goal of the season.
If the Blues front office was looking to spark the team with the trading of Eric Brewer, Erik Johnson, and Jay McClement, they seem to have flipped the right switch.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong said after the trade for Stewart that he wanted someone who could “score dirty goals in close,” and Stewart did just that on both of his goals Saturday night.
It’s too early to know if the trades will be enough to get the Blues into the playoffs this year, but they are now just five points out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference and they have two games in-hand on the teams they are chasing.
BLUE NOTES: Alex Pietrangelo set a new personal best with three assists in the game.
David Backes has six goals and two assists in his last seven games.
T.J. Oshie has five points in his last two games and nine points in his last eight games.
Andy McDonald now has 10 points in the eight games he’s played since coming back from his concussion.
Patrik Berglund’s assist on Oshie’s second goal extended his point-scoring streak to five games. He now has at least one point in 13 of his last 15 games.
Alex Steen had just one point in his last five games before tallying a goal and two assists against the Ducks.
The Blues will host the Chicago Blackhawks in a rare afternoon game on Monday, Game time is 1 PM.