St. Louis Blues

With a goal in his first game, Blues’ Fabbri follows big-name teammates

Blues rookie Robby Fabbri collected a goal in his first NHL game Thursday
Blues rookie Robby Fabbri collected a goal in his first NHL game Thursday Blues/Scott Rovak

After scoring a goal in his first NHL game Thursday, Robby Fabbri is in some good company among his St. Louis Blues teammates.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, two of the Blues’ top scorers, also netted goals in their NHL debuts. If Fabbri follows in their successful paths, the Blues could have another high-scoring forward ready to contribute.

“I know this is an important day for every hockey player,” said Tarasenko, who also had a goal in the Blues’ 3-1 opening night win over Edmonton to push his career total to 67 goals in 180 games. “I feel like I was just there yesterday. I know what he feels right now, he’s a great guy with a great personality.

“We wish him a lot of goals and we hope this is the first of many.”

Fabbri’s goal helps lead Blues past Oilers

The 19-year-old Fabbri didn’t just score a goal, he broke a 1-1 tie in the third period and picked up the game-winner with his parents watching in the stands.

“Yeah, to be able to share not only my first game but my first goal with them, it’s pretty great,” said Fabbri, the Blues’ 2014 first-round pick.

The Blues (1-0) return to action Saturday in Minnesota as they kick off a six-game road trip. Jake Allen will start in goal against the Wild and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo is expected to be in the lineup.

While the Blues can play Fabbri in up to nine games before deciding to return him to his junior team in the Ontario Hockey League, Thursday’s performance showed he could be ready for a breakout season in the NHL.

Three Blues rookies make debuts; Yadier Molina surprise visitor for opener

“Obviously that goal was pretty special ... tic-tac-toe and back of the net,” Blues goalie Brian Elliott said. “In his first game, it’s pretty special to see. But all throughout training camp — coming back he had a good stick to break up a 3-on-2 — all those little things add up and make a really good hockey player.”

Scoring has never been a problem for Fabbri, who had 80 goals and 171 points in 147 games during his junior days with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League.

Fabbri felt the Blues’ new quicker and aggressive style would be a good fit for him.

“It’s a really fast hockey and you really push the pace,” he said. “You really want to get up the ice and get back hard. It’s a fast game, I like to use my speed and I like playing at a fast pace.”

Own goal

It was easy for Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to laugh at himself after a win, but Pietrangelo wasn’t too happy with his first-period play that resulted in a goal for the Oilers.

Pietrangelo was trying to clear the puck out of the Blues’ zone during an Edmonton power play, but sent it right off of teammate Alexander Steen and into the Blues’ net.

“I’m not going to do that again,” Pietrangelo said. “It’s a bad bounce. We were laughing about it after the game here. Get that out of the way early; rather early in the game than last minute. It’s a tough one, but we got it back. ... I was just trying to get it out of the zone short-handed.

“Usually it hits a guy and it pops up in the air. This one decided to go five-hole.”

Probably no one was more surprised than Elliott, who had no chance on the play.

“He actually did it again in the third period and I was paddle-down ready for it,” joked Elliott. “It’s one of those bounces you can’t really do anything about. Tough to start a game like that, but we kind of kept our heads even-keel and knew that sticking to our game plan we could pull it out.”

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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