Tarasenko's hat trick gives Blues a 5-4 OT win in Nashville

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It's debatable who's hotter right now, the Blues as a whole or Vladimir Tarasenko. Call it a tie.

Tarasenko broke a tie Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena, skating from the right boards to the middle of the ice -- around and through all three Nashville defenders on the ice in overtime -- to score the game-winner in a dramatic 5-4 Blues victory.

It came just 16 seconds into overtime, giving Tarasenko his 200th career NHL goal and his fourth career hat trick.

"I think we all had a feeling there in overtime when he gets that move outside-in, you're not stopping him," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "We're going to need him to keep doing that. He's on a roll."

Indeed he is. Tarasenko extended his points streak to eight games and has scored 10 goals in his last 12 games. One last thing: it was his 10th overtime goal, extending his franchise record.

"Good things happen when you go to the net ..." Tarasenko said. "It feels nice, especially against Nashville, we got these four points. It's huge for the team."

The Blues squandered leads of 3-1 and 4-3 in the third period, but persevered for their sixth consecutive victory -- their longest winning streak since winning six straight in March of 2018. At 27-22-5, good for 59 points, the resurgent Blues maintained their wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

"It was a tough game, we knew that coming in, with the back-to-backs and the schedule and the early start," interim coach Craig Berube said. "That's a good team over there. We knew that in the third period they were going to come after us and they did.


"But the team didn't panic and that's a big thing. We stayed with it. Battled back and ended up getting a win out of it."

So the Blues, who best Nashville 3-2 on Saturday in St. Louis, swept a back-to-back for the first time in seven tries this season. Previously, they had been 5-0-1 in the first game of back-to-backs, and 0-5-1 on the back end.

Alex Pietrangelo and Tyler Bozak also scored for the Blues, who have won five straight road games and next play New Jersey on Tuesday at Enterprise Center.

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