Oshie's overtime goal bails out Blues

News-DemocratFebruary 7, 2014 

— After watching a third-period lead disappear for the third straight game on Thursday, the St. Louis Blues went on a rescue mission.

They sent one of their most energetic players in T.J. Oshie, who forced a turnover deep in the Boston end and then scored with a minute and 31 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Blues a 3-2 victory over the Bruins.

Oshie was in hard on the forecheck when he swiped a clearing attempt from Bruins defenseman Carl Soderberg. The puck bounced toward the net and Oshie was all over it, jamming it behind Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask for his 14th goal.

"I pretty much got a pretty lucky bounce, it hit off of me and went toward the net," said Oshie, whose team had split the two previous games in shootouts after being unable to protect two-goal leads. "I started whacking and I got pretty lucky that it squeaked in there."

Oshie has a knack for making things happen. He was at his creative best with the game on the line.

"I saw it lying there and just kind of started jamming, I think it might have went under his arm or something," Oshie said. "A lucky bounce and we'll take the point for sure."

That extra point also came courtesy of Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

With 3:09 remaining in overtime, the Bruins (36-17-3) put the puck on the stick of Jarome Iginla staring at a wide open net. Iginla hesitated briefly to get the puck out of his skates and Pietrangelo flashed across to get his stick on what seemed to be a sure game-winner for the Bruins.

"I had to make up for the second goal there," said Pietrangelo, who was near Boston's Brad Marchand when Marchand tied it up in the third period. "I knew (Iginla) was sitting back there; at first I didn't know if he had it or not and I just turned. He took the extra second and I got lucky."

The Blues (38-12-6; 82 points) stayed within two points of Central Division leader Chicago (35-10-14; 84 points).

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock praised the work done by Jaroslav Halak. Halak allowed two goals in a span of 2 minutes, 8 seconds early in the third period, but was screened on one and made several other important stops.

"Our most competitive player tonight was our goalie," Hitchcock said of Halak, who stopped 36 of 38 shots. "Our goalie was outstanding."

What wasn't outstanding was the Blues heading to overtime for the third straight game because they were unable to protect a two-goal lead.

"It seems like teams are just capitalizing on a couple mistakes," Oshie said. "Jaro made a couple big saves too, but we don't want to get into a habit of this. We work hard to get the lead and we've got to hold it, especially in our home barn."

The Bruins cut the 2-0 deficit in half on a goal by David Krejci at the 9:16 mark of the third period.

Krejci's shot snaked its way past a screened Halak with Boston's Milan Lucic in front.

Boston tied it when Marchand locked onto the rebound of a shot by Johnny Boychuk and beat Halak from a bad angle just 2 minutes and 8 seconds after Krejci's goal.

Halak had several good saves, including one where he robbed Boston's Dougie Hamilton from the slot early in the third period.

The Atlantic Division-leading Bruins entered the night 7-1-1 in their previous nine games, allowing one goal in their last seven periods.

The Blues struck for two in the first two periods.

Alexander Steen put the Blues on top when he ripped a slapshot from the top of the right circle past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask with 4:12 remaining in the first period.

It was the 28th goal in 45 games for Steen.

"(Jaden Schwartz) makes a really smart decision to just hold it and kick it out and then he drives that defenseman back and gives me a little room," Steen said. "I was able to pick my spot."

Schwartz pushed the Blues' lead to 2-0 when he unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Schwartz's 18th goal had some help since the shot appeared to go through the legs of Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller.

Held scoreless on three power plays Thursday, the Blues' cold streak dropped to 0-for-12.

Oshie was hurt in the second period when he was hit in the foot with a shot. He left the ice and headed for the dressing room, but returned before the period ended.

The Blues survived another near-calamity when Halak emerged unhurt after a collision with Boston's Gregory Campbell.

With just over two minutes remaining in the second period, Oshie crushed Boston's Torey Krug with a big hit along the boards.

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

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