With Tarasenko’s scoring drought over, will Blues’ offense wake up?
ST. LOUIS — Maybe a goal by right winger Vladimir Tarasenko provided the jumpstart needed by the St. Louis Blues’ offense.
Tarasenko, St. Louis’ leading scorer, had not recorded a goal in seven consecutive games before his overtime goal Saturday night gave the Blues a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blues won’t have to wait long to see if that happens again, as they will be back in action Sunday afternoon when they host the Colorado Avalanche.
Tarasenko’s streak without a goal has coincided with a total offensive slump by the Blues, who have not scored more than two goals in their last six games and in eight of their previous nine.
It was the longest streak for Tarasenko without a goal since going eight games with no goals early in the 2013-14 season.
"The amount of time that we’ve been pouring into meetings the last few days, it hasn’t been a great feeling around this locker room," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "Finally to have sometime positive to build off it … we have to bring that hunger into tomorrow’s game that we had tonight."
The Blues have scored 26 goals in their 12 games this season.
The Avalanche also are coming off a low-scoring win, getting a power-play goal from Gabriel Landeskog midway through the third period and a shutout from Calvin Pickard to beat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 on Saturday afternoon for their second win in six games.
While the Blues got a good game from backup Carter Hutton, who stopped 20 of 21 shots, and the Avalanche got the shutout from Pickard, each team is expected to have their regular goaltender in net for Sunday’s game as the Blues’ Jake Allen opposes Semyon Varlamov.
Allen has allowed nine goals in his last two games, regulation losses agalnst the Rangers in New York and the Stars in Dallas. It’s only the fourth time in Allen’s career he has allowed four or more goals in consecutive games.
Varlamov has struggled as well, going 2-5-0 to start the season.
"We’re setting our goalie plan week to week," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "Varly is getting a good opportunity early, but we’re not setting our schedule month by month or season long.
"We said this week we’re going with Varly, Pick and back to Varly and play a rested goalie in back-to-backs because we believe in both of them. We’ll get to a point where we need results so we can ride a hot goalie for a little bit."