Blues, Faulk sends the Islanders home with a loss of blowout

Saturday night in St. Louis initially did not have the look of the 6-1 blowout it would be, but after a struggling Jordan Binnington robbed the Islanders early and the Blues scored late in the first period to take a 2-0 lead, writing was on the wall.

Both teams came late, emotional victories the night before, even though the Blues were at home, and their victory mattered while the islands traveled after rescuing something on a tough stretch of road in a season without playoffs.

The match opened sluggishly on both sides, but the islands had some early chances that could have gotten them into the fight and changed history. They did not convert, there was some Isles aggression that seemed to backfire (Ross Johnston seemed to chase Alexei Toropchenko, he of 21 NHL games and 13 PIM, simply because he is 6’6 “), and The Blues ended up pushing back to take a lead they would never give up.

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One note: The Islands were without Casey Cizikas, thanks to a strangely aggressive NHL suspension, and Andy Andreoff was recalled to play in his place. He played 10:36 and was one of the few islands that did not end up on the minus account.

First period: It will probably be such an evening

The sluggish start led to two golden chances for Brock Nelson, both stopped by Binnington, who of course chose tonight of all nights to snap out of a season-long funk. One was when Nelson shot on a 2-on-1, the other was on a great powerplay setup from Mathew Barzal:

Zdeno Chara was penalized early for a hit on Jordan Kyrou long after the puck was gone, sending Kyrou awkwardly into the boards. The Islands killed it, and had chances when David Perron later went to the box after a likely retaliation on Chara.

Nick Leddy, who never seemed to shoot enough as an islander, broke the seal 14:21 after Rob Thomas’ setup gave Leddy no choice but to shoot.

Semyon Varlamov, who was screened or faced an odd-man rush on most goals, stopped a heavy point shot at 17:10, but Vladimir Tarasenko threw himself over the fat rebound and doubled the Blues’ lead to 2-0 on the way in. in the break.

Second period: Definitely that kind of night

Given all the circumstances and the journey, after coming out of that period with 2-0 behind, it felt as if things would only get worse. They did.

The Blues added two more goals early, both from Justin Faulk on defensive crashes – one in-zone, the other in a hurry – and that was it. Faulk knocked the fourth goal out of the air on an odd-man rush that came after one of the final stretches of sustained Isles pressure.

It was at 5:41 and the Islands ended up as shorthanded before the ensuing faceoff. Barry Trotz knocked a stick on the boards to try and get the judges’ attention for a timeout, but failed and ended up throwing the stick on the ice. The judges took exceptions and gave the Isles a bench minor.

The non-calls may include a possibly random turn by Kyle Palmieri of Faulk during a net fight and a trip with Mathew Barzal after he hit the brake on the right wing.

The Islands killed the penalty kick from the bench, and Anthony Beauvillier even conjured up a partial outburst, which Binnington stopped, but the dice were rolled. The islands would occasionally get some systemic pressure going, but they would give up odd-man rush and run around in their own zone.

So while another 10 minutes passed before the Blues piled up, but the Islands made it easy. Another bit of Isles pressure via squeezing led to a clear outburst for Kyrou, who made several moves but did not shoot until he reached the finish line to the left of Varlamov. The puck creaked along the goal line, where Ivan Barbashev discovered it before Ryan Pulock did, and pushed it over the line.

It was 4:57 p.m., and the Islands finally broke the shutout a few minutes later with Grant Hutton’s first NHL goal. It was a point shot where Anders Lee created a screen but did not deflect it, allowing the rookie defender his milestone.

But thirty-nine seconds later, the Blues added one last goal, a neat exchange between Tarasenko and Robert Thomas. Varlamov was out of the net and played Tarasenko to shoot, giving Thomas plenty of room to strike.

In a special irony that suited the feeling of the night, the arena still announced Hutton’s first NHL goal when he was on the ice and scored against.

With a bit of celebration, Hutton turned to making media after the game alongside captain Lee: “It was exciting, of course. It’s a shame what the result was at the time. Lucky goal, just throw it online with Leesy in front, must have hit the defender’s stick. But it’s a good feeling. “

None of this was really Varlamov’s fault, and I’m glad the islands kept him in the net instead of the ceremonial move when Sorokin played last night in Raleigh. It was just one of those nights that could have gone both ways early, after which a team pulled away and never looked back.

Next

The Capitals beat the Penguins earlier in the day to restore their basically insurmountable 13-point lead in the wild card race.

The Islanders now face these penguins with a home-and-home Tuesday and Thursday, followed by a Canadian trip to face Montreal on Friday and the Leafs on Sunday.

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