Game Report: Blues 4, Devils 1

By Nicholas Hand

The Blues rebounded from a tough loss on Thursday against the Islanders with one of their best road performances of the season Friday night to defeat the Devils in New Jersey. It was the first home regulation loss of the season for the Devils.

A two-goal performance by Robby Fabbri along with three assists from Vladimir Tarasenko led the Blues to the win. Ryan Reaves and Jaden Schwartz also scored while Jake Allen made 20 saves.

The Devils had gone 8-0-2 in their first 10 home games this season.

The Blues improved their record to 16-8-4 on the season and remain second in the Central Division with 36 points.

In his first game of the season with the Blues, defenseman Brad Hunt made an immediate impact setting up Fabbri’s first goal of the night, his seventh goal of the season.

Following a pass from Tarasenko, Hunt carried the puck into the offensive zone and found Fabbri in the slot as Fabbri released a quick shot past Devils starter Keith Kinkaid just 1:50 into the game.

The Blues played a solid first period outshooting the Devils 11-6 and carrying the majority of the play.

The Blues doubled their lead at 5:15 of the second period on Reaves’ first goal of the season.

A strong shift by the Blues’ fourth line in the offensive zone created a point shot for captain Alex Pietrangelo which was going wide of the net before Reaves redirected the puck past Kinkaid.

Just 1:21 seconds later, the Devils scored to cut the lead in half on PA Parenteau’s sixth goal of the season.

A strong play behind the net by Taylor Hall created the opportunity as Hall skated to the side of the net and fed a puck across the crease with two Devils camped out. Parenteau jammed the puck past Allen at 6:36 with Adam Henrique also assisted on the goal.

New Jersey’s penalty trouble gave the Blues a prime opportunity to regain their two-goal lead when Damon Severson took a roughing minor at 7:47 followed by Sergey Kalinin’s tripping minor at 8:28.

On the ensuring five-on-three advantage, Schwartz scored his 11th of the season after a terrific read by Alexander Steen running the power play.

Steen recognized Schwartz’s stick parked on the far side of the net and sent a perfect shot-pass to Schwartz, who directed the puck behind Kinkaid and into the net at 9:42 to increase the lead to 3-1.

Allen made 10 second-period saves to carry the lead into the third period.

Fabbri put the game out of reach with a terrific drive to the net on a rush with Pietrangelo, burying the puck past Kinkaid at 11:24. Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera assisted on the goal.

The story of the third period was the defensive effort by the Blues, who limited the Devils to just one shot on goal through the first 15 minutes to lock down the win.

Of Note: Hunt was the American Hockey League scoring leader with 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists) before the defenseman was recalled by St. Louis this week. His first period assist marked his first NHL point since producing three points in 11 games for the Edmonton Oilers in the 2014-15 season… Tarasenko tied a career high with eight shots on goal in his three assist performance… After a slow start to the season, Fabbri has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in his last six games…Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson missed the game with a minor lower-body injury sustained on Thursday in New York. Ty Rattie and Nail Yakupov were healthy scratches for the Blues. Prior to the game, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock indicated that Yakupov may return to the lineup soon.

Looking Ahead: The Blues travel to Minnesota for a 5 p.m. game on Sunday against the Wild in St. Paul.