Oshie's big night helps spur Blues past Kings

News-DemocratJanuary 2, 2014 

— A day after being named to Team USA for the upcoming Winter Olympics, St. Louis Blues winger T.J. Oshie showed his appreciation.

Oshie scored two goals during the second period Thursday and Brian Elliott stopped 30 shots to ignite a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings as the streaking Blues won their fourth straight game.

After the second goal, the sellout crowd of 19,838 began chanting "USA, USA" as if in the middle of an Olympic game.

The feeling was not lost on Oshie.

"That was pretty special," he said. "I definitely didn't expect it, but once I heard it I thought what a cool 24 hours for me."

Oshie's big night also came with Team USA Director of Player Personnel and Calgary Flames President Brian Burke watching from the press box.

"Actually I saw him before the game," Oshie said. "I kind of forgot about it and now that you bring it up I'm glad I got those two goals."

Blues defenseman Barret Jackman, who also scored a goal Thursday, is glad to see Oshie's success leading to bigger things.

"He just keeps proving how worthy he is of that honor" Jackman said. "He's pretty proud of it and I think every guy in this dressing room is proud of all three of our Olympians so far. In a few more days there's going to be a lot more named."

Elliott stayed hot, stopping 30 shots for his third shutout this season and 24th of his career. Elliott (11-1-2) had been 0-4-1 against the Kings in his career before Thursday, but won his franchise record 12th consecutiver home game.

He is 7-0-1 in his last eight decisions overall.

The Blues (28-7-5), who have scored at least five goals four times in their last seven games, netted five more on a night they were missing their top two-goal scorers.

Injured forwards Alexander Steen and David Backes have combined for 40 goals.

"Everyone's had to play an important role, it hasn't just been one line or one guy," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "Everybody seems to be contributing."

It was the fifth straight loss for the Kings (25-13-4), who hadn't experienced much in the way of losing against the Blues.

This was the first win in six tries against California teams this season for the Blues, who also ended a five-game regular-season losing streak against the Kings dating back to Feb. 3, 2012.

Knocked out of the playoffs by the Kings in each of the last two seasons, the Blues had dropped 14 of the last 17 games against L.A. counting the postseason.

Jackman said the Blues' much-discussed depth is helping the team stay hot despite the recent glut of injuries.

"We talked about it at the beginning of the year, how deep our team was and how we could play four lines each night," Jackman said.

Handed a four-minute power play early when Matt Greene high-sticked Derek Roy, the Blues got a goal from Brenden Morrow.

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk's shot hit a Kings player, then bounced off the end boards and back in front. Morrow was there and banked in a shot off Kings goalie Martin Jones for his seventh goal this season.

The Kings nearly tied it when Jeff Carter's shot went off the goalpost and Elliott turned away Jarret Stoll on a pad save late in the first period.

Before Morrow's goal, the Blues had been outscored 13-0 in the first period during five straight losses to California teams this season.

Oshie scored the first of two goals in the second period during a power play. He tracked down a deflected pass off the stick of Jaden Schwartz and beat Jones, who was replaced after the goal by Ben Scrivens.

The assist gave Schwartz 11 goals and 21 points in his last 19 games.

It also was the third straight game with a goal for Oshie, who waited less than two minutes to score another one. Off a faceoff, Oshie ripped a wrist shot past Scrivens for his eighth goal.

Penalties to Chris Stewart and Vladimir Sobotka gave the Kings a 5-on-3 power play for 1 minute, 26 seconds late in the second period. But the Blues earned a standing ovation from the home crowd when they killed it off, with Oshie, Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Stewart, Jackman and Ian Cole all helping out.

They kept the Kings without a shot during the 5-on-3 and blocked two others.

"The crowd was going crazy, so that helped out a little bit," Oshie said.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Jackman closed out the scoring for the Blues.

The win was also the 100th with the Blues for coach Ken Hitchcock (99-39-18), who tied Red Berenson for sixth place on the franchise all-time coaching wins list.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service