National Hockey League
St. Louis 2, Columbus 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 5, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Referees: Gord Dwyer, T.J. Luxmore
Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Vaughan Rody
Attendance: 18245

ST. LOUIS -- Stuck in one of the worst scoring slumps of his career, St. Louis Blues' right winger Vladimir Tarasenko picked the right moment to break it on Saturday night.

Tarasenko had been mired in a seven-game goalless drought before he scored 4:17 into overtime to give the Blues a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It was the longest stretch without a goal for Tarasenko since he went eight consecutive games early in the 2013-14 season. His longest stretch last year, en route to his first 40-goal season, was five games.

Tarasenko, who scored four goals in the first four games this year, was not made available to the media but his teammates and coach all were happy that he finally had broken his slump. They hope it can lead to the team coming out of its collective scoring funk as well.

The Blues have scored two or fewer goals in their last six games and in eight of their last nine.

"He looked like he had his skating legs tonight," coach Ken Hitchcock said of Tarasenko. "He was a determined player. He stayed with it, we stayed with it. When your best players stay with it, it forces everybody to do that.

"It's a battle right now. It's a battle to score and it's a battle to finish. We've got to get points. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, we've just to dig in. I thought we made some steps today."

The Blues' offensive woes continued early in the game, when Columbus backup goalie Curtis McElhinney, playing his first game of the season, stopped all 23 St. Louis shots through the first two periods.

Backup Carter Hutton was just as good in the St. Louis net, allowing only a goal by right winger Josh Anderson after a turnover by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk at 12:55 of the second period.

Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who was honored before the game for playing his 1,000th career game on the Blues' recent road trip, tied the game 2:16 into the third period. It was only the 82nd career goal for Bouwmeester.

In overtime, Tarasenko was able to get a shot past McElhinney that won the game for the Blues and snapped the Blue Jackets' three-game winning streak.

"When I saw him loop around there, you kind of get that feeling," Hutton said. "You can't give a guy like that time to come in. I've been on the other end, I've been victimized by him before, so it was nice to see it. It was a huge win for us."

McElhinney had a closer view.

"It's kind of one of those things; you just try to get some of those 3-on-3s are difficult so there's some panic moments," he said. "You're just trying to cover as much space as you can."

The loss for the Blue Jackets came a night after they set a franchise-record, scoring 10 goals in a shutout over the Montreal Canadiens.

Coach John Tortorella knows nights like that are rare, but he was hoping for better results against the Blues, and was critical of the efforts of some of his players.

"A few of our top guys, they did not give enough and for this team to make the right steps to go where we want to go as we continue building the club ... we cannot see that again in some of these guys," Tortorella said. "I'm not giving you names, you have to watch the damn game and figure it out yourself. But it's aggravating and we will not take the correct steps to be the team we want to be until that joins together and that's my job to rectify that."

NOTES: St. Louis RW Ryan Reaves was back in the lineup after missing Thursday night's game in Dallas as a healthy scratch. RW Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch, but is expected to play Sunday against Colorado. ... The two games begin a stretch in which the Blues will play 11 contests out of 15 at home. ... G Sergei Bobrovsky, who earned his third shutout in the Blue Jackets' 10-0 win Friday night over Montreal, did not start for the first time this season. He has a 1.79 goals-against average in his first nine games. ... Scratched for Columbus were Ds Dalton Prout and Scott Harrington and LW Sonny Milano. ... The Blue Jackets are off until Wednesday night, when they will host Anaheim.
Top Game Performances
Columbus   St. Louis
Josh Anderson 1 Points Jay Bouwmeester 1
Josh Anderson 1 Goals Jay Bouwmeester 1
Josh Anderson 0 Assists Kevin Shattenkirk 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Curtis McElhinney .933 Save Percentage Carter Hutton .952
Curtis McElhinney 28 Saves Carter Hutton 20
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Columbus 21 1 0-3 4-4 15 30
St. Louis 30 2 0-4 3-3 13 29
Upcoming Games
  • St. Louis will play their next game at home against Colorado. The Blues have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .500 after a loss.
  • Columbus will play their next game at home against Anaheim. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .500 after a loss.