Blues trump Bruins for second time this season

The Ducks and Blackhawks have received all of the attention in the Western Conference, but for the second time this season, the Blues showed the Bruins why they are on the short list of serious Cup contenders in the NHL. St. Louis (38-12-6) went up, 2-0, blew that lead in the third period to Boston (36-16-4), but erased that bad taste with T.J. Oshie’s overtime goal. The Blues beat the Bruins, 3-2, at Scottrade Center Thursday, this on the heels of their 3-2 shootout victory at TD Garden on Nov. 21.

Alexander Steen opened the scoring with his 28th goal of the season (fourth best in the NHL) late in the first period. St. Louis was 31-1-4 this season when they scored first. Promising youngster Jaden Schwartz made it 2-0 with a shot through traffic by Tuukka Rask (24 saves). Boston had been 0-14 this season when it trailed by 2-plus goals. The Bruins were down 2-0 after two periods despite outshooting the Blues, 24-18, in the game and 13-9 in the second.

Jaroslav Halak (36 saves) has been shaky this season holding leads in third periods and Boston put all the pressure on him when David Krejci cut it to 2-1 midway through the third. A little more than two minutes later, Brad Marchand tied it after a juicy rebound by Halak. The Bruins had been 4-0 in overtime this season (the last unbeaten team) but Oshie took advantage of a turnover by Carl Soderberg behind Boston’s net to jam it in.

The final game for the Bruins before the Olympic break is Saturday (3 p.m., NESN) at TD Garden vs. Ottawa (26-21-11). Going into two and a half weeks off, Boston will be up at least five points on second place Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division and as much as nine points.

What they’ll be saying: The Blues are remarkably similar to the Bruins: big, deep and sound defensively. The main difference lies in goal where Rask is superior to Halak even though he lost both head-to-head matchups. The only way they could meet again is in the Stanley Cup Final, keep in mind this win improved St. Louis’ record vs. Eastern Conference teams to 18-4-2.

I try to avoid complaining about the referees but two things that went against Boston Thursday were tough to accept. In the first period, Loui Eriksson took a high stick to the mouth that caused him to bleed and go to the dressing room for stitches. That should have been a four-minute power play for the Bruins. In the second period, when the Blues led 2-0 Halak was handcuffed by the puck and couldn’t cover it up yet the refs whistled the play dead for a face-off.

This was the first of two games that the Bruins will play without the services of irreplaceable defenseman Zdeno Chara. It was a major test for Johnny Boychuk (298 career NHL games) and the five other defensemen (who combined for 230 games), though you have to say that they were fine for the most part. Granted that Kevan Miller and David Warsofsky were both minus-2, but Torey Krug had an assist.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien and Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock are both assistants on Team Canada so you can bet this game will come up during their down time in Russia in the next few weeks.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter:
@RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.