Game #45 St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars | January 16, 2012
The St. Louis Blues have the best record on home ice in the NHL and they put it to the test against the Dallas Stars. Another bruising game was decided by one goal. It came off the stick of TJ Oshie. The win for the Blues jumped them into a tie for first place in the league.
Jaroslav Halak was on his game. Denying all 22 shots by Dallas including a break away by Eric Nystrom in which the Stars forward tried to sneak one through the five hole but found no open space, Halak picked up his second shutout in three games and his third on the season. After a somewhat poor start, Halak has brought his game up to the next level dominating the opposition over the last couple months.
Blues fans rose to their feet when one of their favorites looked to break in one on one with the Dallas net minder. Oshie made a the push and would have been in the clear but he fumbled his stick which dropped the opportunity.
After two scoreless periods, the tight checking game finally produced a score. The lone goal of the game came off a quick break by the Blues. Alex Pietrangelo sent a perfect pass off the boards around the opponents to Oshie. Moving into the offensive zone, Oshie tipped a pass to David Perron who split the defense while Oshie slipped around them. Perron drove wide and centered a pass to Oshie. Stopping on a dime in front of the net, Oshie forced Kari Lehtonen out of position and slammed home his fourteenth of the year.
Lehtonen, despite giving up the only goal of the game, performed like the elite goalie the Stars believe he can be. Stopping 31 of the 32, the Dallas keeper put on a show making save after save.
The Blues did make his job easier by sending multiple shots wide of the net.
The hard hitting game totaled 42 checks, 23 by the Blues. The physical effort was made more apparent when Scott Nichol threw his gloves down to challenge Jake Dowell after a big hit.
Up Next: Edmonton comes to St. Louis Thursday.