Tarasenko, Schwartz score in 1:35 span, Blues beat Devils
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The St. Louis Blues got back in the game against the New Jersey Devils with a lucky bounce, and then their talent took over.
Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz scored in a 1:35 span bridging the second and third periods and the Blues beat New Jersey 3-1 on Tuesday night, sending the Devils to their season-high third straight loss.
The big goal was Tarasenko’s eighth of the season. With the Blues trailing 1-0 late in the second period, his shot from high in the slot hit off the shin of Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller and tied it with 63 seconds left in the period.
”I think that was big for us,” said Blues goaltender Jake Allen, who made 21 saves. ”It could have been a different game if we didn’t get that goal in the second there, and I thought we played well in the third. We didn’t give them anything.”
The Blues dominated the final 20 minutes, outshooting New Jersey 19-4 in beating the Devils for the eighth straight time.
Schwartz got the winner with a power-play goal on a great cross-ice pass by Brayden Schenn 32 seconds into the third period.
”This year we want to get a lead and finish – we want to do that,” Schwartz said. ”Times in games last year where we sat back a little bit and we’ve learned from that. Can’t allow teams to gain the neutral zone with speed.”
Schenn, who also assisted on Tarasenko’s goal, scored into an empty net to ice the game. He has six assists in the last two games.
”It’s been fun, two guys with tons of skill,” Schenn said of his linemates, Tarasenko and Schwartz. ”I think if we work for one another we could be a good line and maybe tonight it took a little bit for us to get going.”
Once they got going, the Blues were too much for the Devils.
Tarasenko, who left the Blues’ practice early Monday with upper body soreness, also had an assist on Schwartz’s winner.
Blake Coleman scored early in the first period for New Jersey, but he also was in the penalty box when Schwartz scored 32 seconds into the third period. Cory Schneider had 37 saves for New Jersey, which is 0-2-1 in its last three.
”They know how to stay in games with the high-end skill on the top two lines that can change the game on a dime like they did,” Schneider said. ”Again, we have to stop this slide. We have to get out of this and stop it before it gets too deep. It’s three in a row. We haven’t quite played well enough to win. We have to find a way to nip this in the bud right now.”
The Devils, who were returning from a three-game trip to Western Canada, led for most of the first two periods on Coleman’s second goal of the season. He slammed home the rebound of Brian Boyle’s deflection. It was Boyle’s first point in four games since returning from treatment for cancer.
NOTES: Devils LW Marcus Johansson missed his third straight game with a concussion. … New Jersey D Damon Severson was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. … Schwartz came close to making it 3-1 on another third-period power play, but his shot hit the crossbar. … Blues are 12-0 when leading or tied after two periods and 12-3-1 overall. … Devils are now 7-2-1 when scoring first.
Blues: Host Arizona on Thursday night.
Devils: Host Edmonton on Thursday night.
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