Leafs fall in OT to Blues

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JONAS SIEGEL

Tarasenko ends tense bat­tle with big goal in ex­tra ses­sion.

TORONTO — Vladimir Tarasenko scored the over­time win­ner as the St. Louis Blue kept rolling un­der new head coach Mike Yeo, beat­ing the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1, in Na­tional Hockey League play Thurs­day night.

Tarasenko snapped his 26th goal of the year past Fred­erik An­der­sen 20 sec­onds into the ex­tra frame as St Louis im­proved to 4-1-0 un­der Yeo, who re­placed Ken Hitch­cock as the Blues’ coach last week.

Mor­gan Rielly scored the lone goal for Toronto (25-1711), An­der­sen sharp with 38 saves in de­feat.

It was the sec­ond time in a week that St. Louis (2822-5) beat Toronto, the Blues emerg­ing 5-1 last week at home.

St. Louis, third in the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion with 61 points, came out full of fire against the Leafs again in this one, look­ing a lot like the club that reached last year’s West­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nal against San Jose.

The Blues out­shot Toronto 17-4 over the first 20 min­utes, grab­bing the first goal from Ber­glund. The six-foot-four Swedish cen­tre pounced on a blocked shot in the high slot and whipped a shot un­der the glove of An­der­sen.

The 27-year-old An­der­sen has been scuf­fling in the new year, but es­pe­cially of late. He en­tered the night yield­ing 16 goals in his past three starts. His best save in the first came with un­der two min­utes go when, while down and out in the crease, he still man­aged to glove down a Colton Parayko point shot.

Jake Allen at the other end faced lit­tle of con­se­quence. The 26-year-old’s strug­gles this sea­son helped pave the way for Hitch­cock’s dis­missal last Wed­nes­day. A Fred­er­ic­ton na­tive, Allen came into the night with a .900 save per­cent­age this sea­son, which in­cluded a 30-save shutout in his last start.

The Leafs fi­nally got one with 64 sec­onds left in the frame. Nazem Kadri drove down the right side and fired a shot at Allen, the juicy re­bound trick­ling off Wil­liam Ny­lan­der to­ward the weak­side where it was slammed home by Rielly.

NATHAN DENETTE, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

St. Louis Blues right-winger Vladimir Tarasenko cel­e­brates his game-win­ning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in over­time at the Air Canada Cen­tre on Thurs­day night. The Blues won 2-1.

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