ST. LOUIS - It may seem like Dmitrij Jaskin came out of nowhere in Game 5, but the truth is, he's been there all along.
He was simply waiting for an opportunity.
And once that opportunity knocked in the form of an injury to Alexander Steen, he made it count.
The 24-year-old forward delivered big time in his first appearance of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, scoring the first goal in Game 5, which until that point, had eluded the Blues in their series with Nashville. The goal eventually ignited the Blues to a thrilling 2-1 victory at Scottrade Center, which guaranteed the series would return to Nashville for a Game 6 on Sunday.
"It's unbelievable what we had to do tonight and we did it," Jaskin said after the game. "Everybody's happy and can enjoy it now for a few minutes and forget it and get another one."
In addition to the goal, Jaskin set a career-high with eight shots on goal. He also recorded four hits, two takeaways and two blocked shots.
Video: NSH@STL, Gm5: Jaskin sweeps home rebound in front
Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said he felt Jaskin was ready to make a difference.
"Just the way the series had developed and, obviously, getting a feel for the way that they're playing and what to expect going into the game, we felt he was a guy that could (contribute)," Yeo said. "I don't know that we thought he would be as good as he was tonight, because he was impressive. But we felt confident that he would go in and play a really good game. But eight shots on goal - a big goal - I thought he was a force along the walls in both ends and a difference-maker."
With nearly a month since his last game, Jaskin entered Game 5 with fresh legs.
"I'm not really fresh (anymore)," he joked after a must-win game. "But I'll be fine for the next game."