Blues overcome Bruins in wild matinee
Last second goal sets up shootout victory
The St. Louis Blues survived a late Boston outburst with one of their own to score a stunning 5-4 shootout victory over the Bruins on Monday afternoon.
T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes beat Tim Thomas in the shootout for the Blues, who trailed by two goals with 85 seconds left in the third period.
St. Louis (18-23-4) won just one of 10 road games since the beginning of December entering the game.
The game featured five goals in the final four minutes, 45 seconds of the third period.
St. Louis led 2-1 with six minutes left but took consecutive penalties 73 seconds apart. The Bruins took advantage of a five-on-three power play with goals by Michael Ryder and P.J. Axelsson 19 seconds apart to regain the lead.
Zdeno Chara scored at the 16:55 mark on a floater that hit a stick for a 4-2 score and it appeared the Bruins were cruising home.
Blues coach Andy Murray pulled goalie Chris Mason when Boston soon took a penalty to gain a two-man advantage. The move paid off at 18:40 when David Perron scored his fifth of the season.
Mason was on the bench again as Boston missed an empty-net shot, with defenceman Barret Jackman throwing his body in front of another shot near the St. Louis crease.
The Blues rushed up ice, and David Backes batted a rebound mid-air past Thomas at 19:59 of the third period. After a lengthy video review, it was ruled that Backes struck the puck at an allowable height, giving him his 16th score and the Blues an improbable comeback.
Chuck Kobasew had given the Bruins a 1-0 lead early in the first, but the Blues came back to outplay the home side for most of the next 40 minutes.
Kobasew extended his point streak to four games by taking Blake Wheeler's pass in the slot and beating Manny Legace high.
Not long after Bruins defenceman Hnidy cleared a puck at his team's goal line, St. Louis tied the score in the first. Jeff Woywitka's shot was deflected by Brad Winchester past Thomas.
Legace would leave in the first with an undisclosed lower body injury, with replacement Mason not beaten until late in the third.
Jay McClement gave the visitors a 2-1 lead early in the second, a play that was created by teammate Alex Steen, who forced a turnover.
The score stayed that way until 15:16 of the third, when Ryder tied the game from the slot, one of two assists for David Krejci.
Seconds later, Wideman rushed up ice to set up the third Boston goal, with Axelsson blasting a slapshot high over Mason's shoulder.
After Chara's flukey goal, Marc Savard was denied on a breakaway by Mason and the Blues goalie also stopped the puck as it subsequently caromed off Blake Wheeler's skate towards the net.
The saves were huge in light of what was about to transpire for the Blues.
The Bruins carried the play in overtime, but Ryder and Hnidy couldn't capitalize on their chances.
Wheeler beat Mason with a deke in the shootout but hit the post, with Axelsson stopped by the St. Louis netminder.
Mason stopped 21 of 24 shots in his relief appearance.
Thomas, making his fifth straight start, finished with 27 saves.
Boston (33-8-5) will travel to Toronto for a game on Wednesday.
The Bruins had beaten the Blues 6-3 in St. Louis on Dec. 21
With files from the Associated Press