Blues ride big second period, beat Bruins 5-1
ST. LOUIS — At 23, Vladimir Tarasenko became the youngest St. Louis player to score 30 goals in 23 years.
Two years younger than Tarasenko, Boston Bruins goalie Malcolm Subban wanted a do-over.
"You try to score on every shift so hard," Tarasenko said after getting the last two goals in the Blues’ 5-1 victory over the sagging Bruins on Friday night. "I need to keep going. We have 25 games more."
Petteri Lindbohm, Alex Pietrangelo and T.J. Oshie scored on the Blues’ first three shots of the second to chase Subban and cancel Tuukka Rask’s scheduled night off. Rask, who has played in 25 of the last 26 games, flipped a chair before leaving the bench.
"Tough start for Malcolm, not getting any shots and then bang, bang, bang, a few goals and that’s it," Rask said. "I felt bad for him. I just told ‘Don’t worry about it’ when he was skating off.’"
Brad Marchand scored for Boston, which lost its sixth in a row and played most of the final two periods without David Krejci (lower body). Subban re-entered with 4:06 to go and didn’t see another shot but it was far too late for the Bruins, who are 0-4-2 in their longest winless stretch since going 0-6-4 Jan. 16-Feb. 6, 2010.
Coach Claude Julien yanked Subban with Boston trailing 3-1 to give players a confidence boost. He put him back in because the game was out of hand.
The Bruins are in a tough spot, one point ahead of Florida for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We’d like to get a little bit of a break with some good goal-tending from our backup," Julien said. "And I guess we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and look at how we want to approach this."
Tarasenko’s 30th of the season capped the four-goal second and he got his 31st midway through the third. At 23 years, 65 days, he’s the team’s youngest 30-goal scorer since Brendan Shanahan got his 30th at 23 years, 63 days in 1991-92.
"He’s a tremendous talent," forward Alexander Steen said. "He’s extremely skilled and he’s got a heck of a shot."
Steen had three assists in the second period and goalie Jake Allen moved past a shaky start for the Blues, who mustered just three shots in the first period before coming alive. They made the most of just 15 shots on the night, with Boston getting 27 shots.
"We can quick-strike, and we’re dangerous," coach Ken Hitchcock said.
The 21-year-old Subban was the Bruins’ first-round pick in 2012. His NHL debut went bad in a hurry, beginning with Lindbohm’s first career goal that went in and out of the glove and then off the goalie’s backside into the net at 48 seconds of the second.
"I guess I’ve got to look at the game tonight and think about all the stuff I did wrong," Subban said. "Obviously, I was way too deep on all three goals. Regardless of how they went in — tip, screen, whatever, knuckle puck, it doesn’t matter — I’ve got to challenge more."
Pietrangelo’s first goal in 23 games was a one-timer off Michel Bergeron’s stick and under Subban’s glove at 4:16 and Oshie scored on a drive from the top of the right circle to make it 3-1 at 5:09 and prompt a timeout and the goalie change.
Tarasenko made it four goals on seven shots in the second when he slapped home a rebound on a power play at 13:59, and he beat Rask again from the slot at 11:45 of the third.
The Bruins had a 7-0 shots advantage when Marchand’s 17th goal sailed under Allen’s glove at 10:42 of the first, and the Blues didn’t get their first shot for another 2 1/2 minutes.
NOTES: It appeared Krejci was hurt attempting to check Steen, who eluded most of the blow. Coach Claude Julien wasn’t sure about the severity of the injury, or whether Krejci would accompany the team to Chicago for Saturday night’s game. … LW Daniel Paille, scoreless in his last 16 games, and RW Craig Cunningham, scoreless in his last 10, were healthy scratches for Boston. … Attendance of 19,172 was the Blues’ 12th sellout.