ST. LOUIS -- The Blues' offense is still searching for itself, but it managed to find a win on Tuesday night at Enterprise Center, snapping a five-game losing streak.
And while coach Craig Berube scrambled his top lines for the game, the key to the game was found in the fourth line, where Ivan Barbashev scored twice in a 3-0 win over New Jersey. Jaden Schwartz added a goal with 5:15 which came with a definite look of relief, since he's been one of the main people to see scoring chances not completed.
Goalie Jordan Binnington got the shutout for the seventh of his career and second of the season. He stopped 17 shots.
It was the Blues' first win since beating Carolina, 6-3, on Feb. 4. That the Blues did this against the team that is 28th in the league in points and is in the process of being taken apart at the deadline by trades of its most valuable parts was of little matter. The Blues needed a win to remind them just what it looks and feels like.
The Blues controlled the game, outshooting the Devils about two to one and spending ample time in the New Jersey end. But in a familiar trend, all those chances produced very few goals as some of the best scoring chances of the night didn't find their way into the net.
It was almost halfway through the game before the Blues scored. A shot by Carl Gunnarsson was blocked in front of the goal by New Jersey's Damon Severson. Barbashev snapped up the loose puck and shot past goalie Louis Domingue.
Early in the third period, Barbashev got his second, finishing a nice give-and-go with Sammy Blais, with Barbashev finding an open spot in the slot to finish off the play and give him nine goals on the season, officially. Barbashev will get credit for his 10th goal when the interrupted Anaheim game is finished.
Shortly after Barbashev's second goal, the Blues had to kill off a four-minute power play after Robert Thomas was called for high sticking, but they did it fairly easily -- New Jersey had just two shots on goal -- and that pretty much took care of the evening. Schwartz's goal with 5:15 to play found the top corner and was his 19th of the season.
While the Blues had plenty of shots on goal, most have come from defensemen. Thirteen of their 24 shots on goal through two periods have come from defensemen, with Colton Parayko having five and Gunnarsson three.
The Blues had another solid period in the first and another period in which they didn't score a goal.
The Blues outshot the Devils 13-6 and had some quality scoring chances, but couldn't find the net. It's been a familiar thread. At that point, they had just one goal in their previous five periods of hockey.
The Blues had a power play coming after P.K. Subban was called for roughing, but Alexander Steen negated the penalty by not leaving the ice after his helmet got knocked and became the first Blue to be called for "Playing without a helmet," a new rule that was instituted this season.
Prior to the game, the Blues acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from Montreal for two draft picks.
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