Blues 1, Penguins 0 (OT): Paul Martin Wears The Scarlet T

This was a fairly even game from both sides; the Blues absolutely dominated the Penguins in the first, outshooting them 7-3 with Brent Johnson turning aside the Blues’ multiple good chances, and the Pens responded by outshooting St. Louis 19-7 in the second, with Jaroslav Halak responding likewise. The game remained scoreless after a moderately wide-open third period, and the Blues finally cashed in in Overtime after Paul Martin committed a brutal turnover in the corner of the Pens’ defensive zone, which T.J. Oshie centered to a wide-open Erik Johnson for a game-ending wrister.

The turnover was unfortunate for Martin, who hadn’t played a particularly strong game to that point (he and Ben Lovejoy were the only Penguins who didn’t register a shot), but under most circumstances, the gaffe would’ve been merely one of several game elements we’d be discussing after a run-of-the-mill win or loss. In a 0-0 game, though, where both goalies were playing absolutely lights-out, Martin’s turnover directly gave the Blues their second point.

The game story would’ve been different if Halak had slipped up or if the Pens’ power play had managed a goal on their four opportunities or if the Blues had lost their legs in the third playing on back-to-back nights, but in the end, Martin had the puck cleanly on his stick, failed to make a play with it, and it ended up in the back of the Pens’ net. Pittsburgh still earned a point against a team that’s now won its last 10 home games, so the game wasn’t a total loss, but with the way Brent Johnson performed yet again, the Pens would’ve liked to have come away with two.

Fortunately for Montreal fans, Carey Price managed his first shutout in two years last night, so they didn’t have to see the Halak highlights and shoot themselves in the face while booing.

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