The Blue Jackets headed to St. Louis Wednesday for their second exhibition game of the season. Unfortunately, the team headed home on a sour note after falling to the Blues in overtime by a score of 3-2.
The Jackets struggled early to establish their offense. They were outshot 12-6 in the opening frame and St. Louis drew first blood.
After Cam Atkinson was called for slashing 5:32 into the game, Vladimir Tarasenko opened the scoring. He beat Brad Thiessen high glove side with a shot from just below the right circle. The power play goal made it 1-0.
While the Jackets didn't put up a lot of shots early, they were able to draw the score even in the second and then take the lead courtesy of two goals from Zac Dalpe, each assisted by Sonny Milano.
The first score came when, from behind the net, Milano delivered the puck off his backhand to Dalpe who had pushed to the right side of the front of the net. Dalpe banged home a shot past Jake Allen.
The goal gave the Jackets some offensive energy, and less than four minutes later, Dalpe struck again. This time, off a Blues turnover, the 27-year-old was fed the puck in the mid-slot by Milano. Dalpe fired to give the Jackets their first lead of the night.
St. Louis scored a shorthanded goal 15:05 into the second period to tie the game again 2-2. That score would hold going into the final 20 minutes of play.
Brad Thiessen was solid in net through two periods. His play kept the Jackets in the game while they fought to find their offense. The 31-year-old goaltender stopped 25 of 27 shots that he faced. He then turned the net over to Ivan Kulbakov for the balance of the game.
After a scoreless third period, the two teams headed to overtime.
The Jackets made it into overtime before Matt Calvert was called for slashing. On the resulting power play, Tarasenko notched his second of the night to seal the win for the Blues.
By the numbers:
0: number of faceoff penalties taken by the Blue Jackets. After taking two against the Blackhawks Tuesday, the team implemented a new strategy for faceoffs designed to limit penalties. It seems to have worked tonight.
9: The Jackets first score came on their ninth shot on goal, 7:36 into the second period.
76: The number of games tonight's two-goal scorer, Zac Dalpe, played for The Ohio State University before turning pro.
8: the number of slashing penalties called in the game. Four were called on the Blue Jackets.
22: The number of shots on goal taken by the Jackets. St. Louis had 36.
"What they said."
Goaltender Brad Thiessen: "My job is to stop the puck so it doesn't matter how many are coming or where the chances are coming from, you just focus on the next shot and make sure you're ready for it. It was exciting to be back out there and playing again."
Zac Dalpe on his two-goal performance: "You just have to do what have to do, and then you have to do it some more. Aside from scoring, scoring's really fun don't get me wrong, but you have to do some other good things too. I thought my game the first period was a little scrambly, then I came to my own in the second and third and hopefully it showed."
Assistant coach Brad Larsen on Sonny Milano: "He put himself in a great position because he came to camp in great shape to start with. It impressed us right away. He's an exciting player, his legs are always moving, he's got NHL speed. You see the amount of good plays he makes. Defensively, that's an area where he's going to have to earn trust from the coaches. As he gets more instruction on that I expect him to get better."
Brad Larsen on Dalpe's play: "There's another guy in camp who's really impressed us. He came in really great shape, he's pushed himself. In scrimmages he's been really good and tonight he showed he's come here to try to win a job. He's one guy that we're definitely really impressed with early."