Somewhat surprisingly, Jake Allen started for the 2nd time in two nights. Perhaps it’s because in his career, he’s 3-0-0 against the Devils, with a .961 save percentage.
Perhaps the Blues were onto something.
Less than two minutes in, the Blues scored first. Brad Hunt entered the zone, and delivered a pass to Robby Fabbri. Fabbri shot through a screen by Lehtera, and scored for his 7th of the season. This came after two minutes of domination by the Blues to start the game. This appeared to wake the Devils up, and they proceeded to apply pressure, notably a Kyle Quincey point blank shot saved by Allen. Joel Edmundson then took a penalty 11 minutes in, but the Devils couldn’t capitalize. There were no real chances, and the Blues showed why they rank as the 2nd best penalty kill in the league. The Blues then took control of the game again, and 15 minutes in the Blues got their first power play. The Devils did a good job killing it, with Kinkaid making some big saves. No more major chances for the rest of the period, and the score was 1-0. The Blues outshot the Devils 11-6, and also out-faceoffed the Devils 10-4. The Devils were on and off the whole period, and had only one or two real scoring chances.
To start off the 2nd, Kyle Palmieri rushed towards Allen and shot the puck out of the outside of the post. Alex Steen then held Travis Zajac, and the Devils started off well. Zajac had a one-timer in the slot, but Jake Allen saved it and Kyle Palmieri couldn’t get the rebound. The Blues didn’t allow another chance, and as soon as the penalty ended Vladimir Tarasenko then shot one which Kinkaid saved. The Devils then continued applying pressure, but the Blues were the ones who scored again. Alex Pietrangelo took a shot which was heading wide, but Ryan Reaves took advantage of Kyle Quincey and John Moore being out of position, and tipped the shot in for a 2-0 lead. The refs missed a call on this play, letting an icing go by. While it may have seemed pointless, the line of Henrique, Hall and Parenteau refused to give up. Taylor Hall was able to escape from Jaskin, and Henrique shot the puck the puck, and then P.A. Parenteau was able to hit it home for his 6th of the year, and his 1st in 15 games. Sergei Kalinin then skated by a Blues defender, and had a great chance as well, which was unfortunately stuffed by Allen. The Devils then gave up a penalty, with Severson getting a roughing call. 40 seconds into that, Sergei Kalinin got caught for a tripping penalty for a 5-on-3. With a team as potent as the Blues, these penalties can’t be given up. The Blues showed why, with Shattenkirk slap-passing a shot to Schwartz, who easily shot it in. Shattenkirk noticed Fiddler’s slight move to the right, which opened a clear lane for Schwartz. The Devils were able to escape the rest of the penalty, but it was now 3-1. The Devils then get a power play with about two minutes left, but the only chance was a Devante Smith-Pelly shot, which Allen saved. The shots were even at 11 each, but the Blues out-face-offed the Devils again, 12-8.
The third period was all the same. Blues domination, and Devils struggling throughout. 12 minutes in Fabbri scored for the Blues again, and it was 4-1. And this was how it would end. A terrible game to watch, and a terrible game throughout.
The Home Points Streak is over.
Milestones: Congratulations to Michael Cammalleri for his 800th game, Taylor Hall for his 400th game, and John Moore for his 100th game as a Devil.
No Answer: After getting beat up by the Canadiens, the Devils should’ve had a response against the Blues. That, they didn’t have. Apart from a few moments in the 2nd period, the Blues consistently had more possession than the Devils, and Keith Kinkaid was left out to dry by the Devils. I would say 2 of the 4 goals were unsaveable, and there weren’t really any bad goals let in. According to Corsi stats, only five players did incredibly bad — The pairing of Ben Lovejoy and Yohann Auvitu were horrendous today, and the line of Wood - Fiddler - Lappin were also not good. While I do like Nick Lappin, he’s been struggling as of late. Hynes is giving him less and less ice time, and perhaps he needs to regain some confidence in the minors again.
Singing the Blues: Robby Fabbri is really, really, good. In my opinion, the best player on the ice today. Whenever he was on the ice, he (along with Tarasenko) always seemed to be doing something. I’ll give a shoutout to Kevin Shattenkirk also. His slap-assist showed incredibly high hockey IQ, noticing Fiddler clearing the lane immediately. The Blues didn’t dominate the Devils like the Canadiens did, but it was still incredibly bad. Their penalty kill completely alleviated any momentum the Devils could gain, and they have a good team all-around. Paul Stastny is a great defensive forward, and I think he’s a major reason for the Blues special team success.
Who Did Good on the Devils? : I think Sergei Kalinin had a very good game. His even strength Corsi was the highest on the Devils, with a +10. Corsi gave Severson and Greene positive even strength ratings as well, which I can see looking back at the game. They weren’t mentioned that often, which is a good thing for non-offensive minded defensemen (Severson is somewhat offensive-minded, but the Devils had no offense this game). Devante Smith-Pelly and Beau Bennett also had very decent games, and their Corsi scores reflect that as well.
Faceoff Woes: On the 5-on-3, Hynes had a very difficult choice as to who to put on the faceoff. He chose Vernon Fiddler. Although Fiddler is usually very solid on faceoffs, he was absolutely horrendous today, winning only one faceoff out of nine. This game, no Devils player did good on the playoffs — Kalinin and Zajac were the only players whom took more than five faceoffs who were 50%, and they were exactly 50%.
So...: This game hurt to watch, and it hurt to write as well. On the bright side, looking at the stats showed that only a select few Devils were incredibly bad. Let me know what you guys thought of this game, although I can already predict it’s going to be mostly negative thoughts. Thank you for reading, and good night.