Tarasenko nets a hat trick, Blues rally late to beat Kings 5-2
St. Louis Blues Steve Ott gets hold of the sweater worn by Los Angeles Kings Jarret Stoll in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 16, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues Alex Pietrangelo tries to keep his balance as he works the puck away from Los Angeles Kings Tanner Pearson in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 16, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues Ryan Reeves puts Los Angeles Kings Robyn Regehr into the boards in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 16, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues David Backes is upended by Los Angeles Kings Jarret Stoll in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 16, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia brings the puck up ice in the third period against the Los Angeles Kings at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 16, 2014. St. Louis won the game 5-2. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
ST. LOUIS - Vladimir Tarasenko dazzled the crowd at Scottrade Center with three goals, his second hat trick of the season - just another Tuesday night in St. Louis. But what made the day better was a comeback victory against the Blues toughest rival over the past few seasons, the Los Angeles Kings.
Falling behind the Kings by a couple of goals in the middle of the second period, it seemed impossible for the Blues to make any headway against the invincible Jonathan Quick in goal.
"You don't come out of a 2-0 hole against the defending Stanley Cup Champions too often," captain David Backes said.
However, the Blues bucked that trend when Tarasenko put his team on the board, blasting a puck that nearly went through the backside of the net. Quick had no chance to stop the puck and St. Louis closed the period just one goal down.
Coming into the third period, the Blues were called for high-sticking and gave the Kings their fifth power play of the game. But the extra-man advantage didn't last long as Dustin Brown was called for a penalty against the Kings and then Tarasenko drew a hooking penalty. Just like that the Note had a two-player advantage.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Jaden Schwartz combined to tie the game at two and then still on the power play, Tarasenko netted his second goal of the game.
"Guys bought it," goaltender Jake Allen added, "I think we took over the last five minutes of the second period and we brought that into the third. Our power play scored big goals and Vladdy kept doing his thing."
Alex Steen added an insurance goal and then Tarasenko completed his first hat trick at Scottrade Center with an empty net goal that brought the 17,000-plus crowd to their feet, their team having scored four goals in quick succession.
"I said that's probably the loudest I've ever heard it and rightfully so, we popped four [goals] in the third," Allen continued, "That doesn't happen too often."
Following the game, Backes credited the turning point of the game to his team's second power play goal.
"I think the key was not that we tied it up on the 5-on-3, but that we scored another one before it even gets to even strength," he said.
Despite a three goal victory over their rivals, Tarasenko said the team couldn't take any time to celebrate this win as they head to the Staples Center for another game against the Kings on Thursday.
"It's one game," Tarasenko said, "They're really tough. We have the next game in a couple of days so there's no time to celebrate."
"We'll see what happens when we go into their building," Backes continued, "It's two points in the back, now we've got to go on a tough little West Coast trip before Christmas. We've got to go into their building and show them [Tuesday] wasn't a fluke."