Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Notebook: Third Line Starting to Click

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Notebook: Third Line Starting to Click

Article excerpt

Yes, that was the Tyler Bozak line at center ice to start Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils. Usually, a line with Ryan O'Reilly at center gets that assignment.

But interim coach Craig Berube must have seen something he liked in the night's matchups, because he couldn't wait to get Pat Maroon, Bozak and Robert Thomas out there in what turned out to be a 3-2 Blues overtime victory.

The line didn't disappoint. Thomas and Bozak both had a goal and an assist, while Maroon added an assist and helped screen New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider on Thomas and Bozak goals.

So it was a five-point night for the Blues' third line, which was playing its 24th game together.

"I thought we played really good in New York, too," Bozak said, referring to Friday's 4-2 loss to the Rangers. "A lot of offensive zone time. Again (against New Jersey), I thought we got it in deep and we played our game.

"And that's kind of cycling. We're not really a rush line. We gotta get it in deep and play low and get to the net and create those chances in the dirty areas. I thought we got off to a good start and we just kind of built on that."

By game's end, Bozak had logged 19 minutes 5 seconds of ice time, the first time all season he has led Blues forwards in ice time. His two-point night also pushed him over 400 career points (401).

The Bozak line wasn't on the scoresheet against the Rangers, or in last Monday's 3-1 victory over Vegas. But it has been productive overall, lately, scoring at least one goal in six of the Blues' last eight games.

And that has typified Blues play since David Perron, and then Vladimir Tarasenko, returned from injuries. The team has been getting production from all four lines lately, and frequently the hot line varies from game to game.

Berube particularly liked Thomas' goal against the Devils, when he skated around the back of the net, then circled to the front and whipped a backhander past Schneider. …

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