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Blues find a way, rally for 5-4 victory vs. Panthers on Jordan Kyrou's overtime goal

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

SUNRISE, Fla. — Unfortunately for the St. Louis Blues, Saturday’s festivities at FLA Live Arena amounted to a holiday season repeat. You know, like watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” back-to-back.

Although nothing was wonderful about the Blues’ Thanksgiving weekend — for most of Saturday that is.

Start slow. Trail 3-0 late in the first eight minutes of play. Win a fight. And then lose another hockey game.

But hold it right there.

Just when things looked hopeless, down 4-1, the Blues struck with a goal by Ryan O’Reilly at the 8:16 mark of the third period with a shot from behind the goal line that bounced off the leg of Florida goalie Spencer Knight. Then Jordan Kyrou streaked down right wing for his eighth goal of the season with 6:17 to play.

Just 2 1/2 minutes later, struggling Vladimir Tarasenko tied it at 4-4 with his first goal since Nov. 3. And then in overtime, Torey Krug sprang Kyrou on a breakaway with a beauty of a pass and the Blues — amazingly — were 5-4 winners. Kyrou’s ninth goal of the season came just 68 seconds into overtime and boosted the Blues’ record to 11-10-0.

As Blues players went about their postgame routines in the bowels of FLA Live Arena, many dripping with sweat, defenseman Justin Faulk walked by, looked up, and said: “That was interesting.”

 

Yep. Against the Lightning, the Blues were down 3-0 at the 8:04 mark of the opening period. Against the Panthers, they were more stubborn — waiting 43 seconds later before trailing 3-0. (Sarcasm intended.)

So after digging out of the hole caused by that eight-game losing streak. You know, with that seven-game winning streak that followed, the Blues had their shovels out again. But digging in the wrong direction.

Somehow though, they found a way out. Their mini-slide ended at two losses.

They mustered up the energy for an epic rally, despite completing a grueling 20-day stretch in which they played 12 games. Eight of those 12 games have been on the road, and the Friday and Saturday set of games against the Lightning and Panthers marked the team’s third set of back-to-back games over the 20 days.

If you want to shorten the time frame, it looks even worse. Saturday’s contest marked the Blues’ seventh game in 11 days. These sort of things tend to even out over the course of a season, but suffice it to say the NHL schedule-makers did the Blues no favors in November.

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