Parayko scores first two goals — and game-winner — to lift Blues
Colton Parayko will never forget Tuesday night.
In front of his parents, two sisters and a brother, the Blues rookie defenseman scored his first two NHL goals – including the winner – to lead St. Louis to a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.
”It’s something you dream about as a kid and doing that tonight was a pretty special moment,” said Parayko, 22, who played the last three seasons in the NCAA for Alaska-Fairbanks.
Parayko, a 2012 third round draft pick, spent 17 games in the American Hockey League at the end of last season.
”He’s got poise with the puck and for a big man, he’s got foot-speed,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. ”He has great composure and he’s getting better every day.”
Parayko broke a 2-2 tie at 4:47 of the second period on a 55-foot wrist shot that eluded Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller.
The goal came on the first and only power play of the game for the Blues (2-1-0), who had been short-handed four times in the first period.
Parayko scored the eventual winner with 32 seconds left in the second on another long wrist shot that slipped under Hiller’s arm.
It was the third straight goal of the period for St. Louis, which tied the game 2-2 on Troy Brouwer’s breakaway goal at 2:49. Scottie Upshall also scored for the St. Louis.
Mason Raymond, Jiri Hudler and David Jones scored for Calgary (1-2-0), which fell to 0-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome.
”We started how we wanted, got off to a good start, but I think we had three shots in the second so you’re not going to get a lot of wins with only three shots, so that was disappointing,” said Raymond.
Calgary was held to 10 shots through 40 minutes, but got back to within one early in the third period when Jones took advantage of a bad turnover deep in his own end by Blues captain David Backes.
The Flames weren’t able to find the equalizer despite a late push in the final couple minutes.
”Right now, in some parts of the game, our execution is very good. And in some other parts, our execution is not good at all,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. ”We’re making bad puck decisions, we giving easy pucks away and against good teams, against teams that are big, that are physical, you’re just giving them the momentum.”
Hitchcock said the turning point was when his team settled into their own game.
”Once we got out of the track meet, we were a lot better,” said Hitchcock. ”When we play our game, we struggle and when we play their game, we really struggle. We got out of their game halfway through the first period and then really started to settle down.”
Brian Elliott had 15 saves to improve to 2-0-0 on the season. Hiller turned aside 24 shot in falling to 1-1-0.
The Blues have dominated the Flames in recent years going 7-0-1 in their last eight games. During that span, St. Louis hadn’t trailed in a game to the Flames until Raymond scored 1:14 into the first period on the first shot of the game.
The Blues continue their six-game road trip Thursday night in Edmonton against the Oilers.
Notes: St. Louis lost defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body) in the second period and Calgary left-winger Lance Bouma (lower body) also hobbled off the ice and never returned in the second. … Referee Brad Meier worked his 1,000th NHL game. He was honoured in a pre-game ceremony. … Scratches for the Flames were RW Josh Jooris and G Joni Ortio. … Rookie Robby Fabbri (concussion) did not dress for St. Louis.