ST. LOUIS -- The Blues tied a franchise record with their ninth straight home win and did it without a whole lot of difficulty, beating the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Monday night at Enterprise Center.
A dominating second period segued into an efficient third period which featured an almost comical gift goal when Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm ran into his own goalie, John Gibson, behind the Ducks net, and as they got tangled up, Ivan Barbashev took the puck and stuffed it in the net.
The Blues have won four straight overall and have one more game to go in their five-game homestand, facing Philadelphia on Wednesday night in their final home game before the All-Star break.
The Blues last lost at home on Dec. 7 to Toronto. The Blues won nine games in a row at home from Jan. 26 to Feb. 26, 1991, when they played at the Arena. (Which would make this their longest win streak in this building)
With Washington's win and Boston's shootout loss -- featuring Brad Marchand leaving the puck behind at center ice on the decisive shootout attempt -- the Blues and Capitals are tied for the most points in the league.
The Blues had a season-high 22 shots on goal in the second period as they just took over the game. Even three minor penalties on David Perron couldn't spoil things. If not for a pass by Robert Bortuzzo that handcuffed Zach Sanford and led to Anaheim's only goal, Jake Allen could have posted a shutout.
Tyler Bozak and Jaden Schwartz scored in the second as the Blues stretched their lead.
Bozak started the scoring in the second, but it was Robert Thomas who made it happen. He twice kept the Ducks from clearing the puck out of their zone. The last time, he took the puck from Anaheim's Max Comtois and fed Mackenzie MacEachern, who slid it over to a waiting Bozak for his 11th goal of the season.
The teams were playing four-on-four hockey after unsportsmanlike penalties on Perron and Josh Manson. With 15 seconds to go in the penalties, Manson had company when Max Jones was called for hooking. The visit didn't last long, as seven seconds into the power play, Schwartz scored. Ryan O'Reilly won a faceoff, Alex Pietrangelo controlled the puck, passed across ice to Brayden Schenn, who fed it back across the ice to Schwartz, who snuck in at the back post and tipped it in for his 16th goal of the season.
After that, the Blues just seemed to always have the puck, working it around, keeping it in, and pounding shot after shot.
Looking to tie the franchise record with a ninth straight home win, the Blues jumped out to a 1-0 lead, only to finish the period tied at 1-1.
Alexander Steen put the Blues ahead with his third goal in three games after having none in his first 28. Bortuzzo took a shot that Anaheim goalie Gibson blocked and directed to the boards. Steen got it and from a tough angle rocketed it in before Gibson could get reset with 12:07 to go in the period.
Anaheim tied it with 4:37 to go. In the Blues' end, Bortuzzo tried to get the puck out of zone by passing to Sanford, but the puck was both too hard and too close to the body for the forward to control. It came to Max Comtois in the slot and he fired it home, through three sets of legs, past Allen, who never moved.
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