Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Revived Tarasenko Provides a Spark

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Revived Tarasenko Provides a Spark

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * For about a 10-minute stretch in the second period Sunday, the Blues looked as good offensively as they have in a long time, generating chance after chance and producing two goals.

It looked like the "glory days" of October and November, when much more often than not, the Blues were taking successful shots and taking no prisoners.

It was Vladimir Tarasenko who provided the spark at Capitol One Arena in what eventually became a 4-3 Blues overtime loss to Washington.

Just 78 seconds into the second period, Tarasenko was the trail man on a 4-on-3 rush. Ivan Barbashev, who scored his first points of the season Saturday in Philadelphia, skated down right wing and dropped the puck to Tarasenko, who buried the shot from the slot for his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

Tarasenko had a similar chance from the slot about 2 minutes later that resulted in unsuccessful rebound opportunities for Scottie Upshall and Paul Stastny. All told, Tarasenko had six shots on goal Sunday, and most were prime chances.

Were it not for the work of Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, now 6-0 in his career against St. Louis, Tarasenko might have had another goal or two.

"Vlady played a really strong game today," coach Mike Yeo said. "Really happy with his game. He seems to have not only elevated his game but the way that Barby's playing right now I think Vlady has a lot to do with that, too.

"He's helping his confidence out, talking to him lots. And so that's a good sign for us."

A little later in the second period, the Blues did something they hadn't done in eight full games scored a power-play goal. Tarasenko was among the catalysts here, feeding Alex Pietrangelo with a nifty backhand pass.

Pietrangelo in turn pushed the puck over to Brayden Schenn, whose one-timer got past Holtby with a little help from Alexander Steen at 5:02 of the second. …

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