Game Report: Islanders 3, Blues 2

By Nicholas Hand

The Blues were unable to transfer their home ice success to the start of their road trip Thursday night in Brooklyn, giving up the go-ahead go in the third period in their loss to the Islanders.

Anders Lee scored goals in the first and third period to lead the Islanders, while the Blues got goals from Robby Fabbri and Kyle Brodziak.

Thomas Greiss made 25 saves for New York. Jake Allen allowed three goals on 27 shots as the Blues road struggles continue. They fell to 3-7-1 away from Scottrade Center this season.

The Blues jumped out to a strong start in the opening minutes of the contest generating the first five shots on goal.

A strong defensive play from Alex Pietrangelo led to Vladimir Tarasenko taking a puck just outside the defensive zone for a two-on-one rush with Fabbri. Tarasenko made a power move across the crease on an attempted shot with Fabbri flipping a loose puck past Greiss at 4:36.

Fabbri’s sixth of the season was unsuccessfully challenged for goaltender interference by the Islanders who questioned whether Tarasenko prevented Greiss the opportunity to make a save.

The Blues strong start was negated by a brutal period for center Jori Lehtera. First, a Lehtera high sticking minor put New York on the power play two minutes after St. Louis took the lead.

Lee deflected his seventh goal of the season twelve seconds into the man advantage following a point shot by Nick Leddy at 6:51.

A soft play from Lehtera entering the Blues offensive zone less than three minutes later sparked an Islanders rush with numbers for their captain John Tavares.

Tavares displayed his elite skill spinning around two defenders and creating a shooting lane in the process as he blistered a wrist shot over the stick side of Allen top shelf to give New York their first lead of the game at the 9:31 mark of the opening period.

The Blues bounced back from the momentum swing of the first period and evened the score on Brodziak’s third of the season from the fourth-line center at 3:33 of the second period.

Fabbri set up the goal by extending his shift and entering the offensive zone as the Blues were changing. He stopped at the half wall and threaded the puck past two Islanders defenders to the stick of Brodziak who double clutched his shot beating Greiss low.
The teams traded chances throughout the remainder of the period but both goaltenders kept the game knotted at two after 40 minutes.

New York finally claimed the upper hand at 12:42 of the third period when Casey Cizikas won a faceoff to Lee, who blasted a one-timer through heavy traffic past Allen.

The Blues brought heavy pressure in the final minutes but were unable to find the equalizer as Greiss turned aside all eight Blues shots on goal in the third period.

Of Note
: The Blues 3-7-1 road record is the worst in the NHL for any team currently in a playoff position… The Blues called up defenseman Brad Hunt before the game from their AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. Hunt was recalled as insurance on the road trip with defenseman Robert Bortuzzo being placed on Injured Reserve for a lower-body injury. Hunt could see time as Bortuzzo is expected to be out for at least six weeks… Ty Rattie and Nail Yakupov were the other healthy scratches for the Blues.

Looking Ahead:
The Blues have a quick turnaround as they face the New Jersey Devils on Friday night before traveling to Minnesota for a Sunday evening game against the Wild.