BrownSchwartz

Game 2: Blues 2, Kings 1

Have you calmed down after last night's win? No? Me neither, but let's stop watching the video of Jackman's winner for a few minutes and talk about last night's game. 

Just like Game 1, Game 2 was a brutal physical affair. Big hits littered the game, occurring on nearly every single play or possession. The Kings were looking to bring a more intense effort after their defeat in Game 1 and it's safe to say that they did. 

Unfortunately, the game started out with a series of whistles. 

Alexander Steen was sent to the box just 26 seconds into the first period for tripping. Jaden Schwartz was sent off four minutes later for delay of game. Just over a minute later the Kings proved counting really is hard, having too many men on the ice. Then there were two ridiculous calls made, both against St. Louis. Ryan Reaves muscled Colin Fraser to the ice while the two battled for the puck. The call was for high-sticking despite the fact Reaves' stick never touched Fraser. Two minutes, playing hockey. As if that call wasn't bad enough, Jackman was sent off 24 seconds later for interfering with Drew Doughty. The issue with that one was that the call took place well after the whistle. How can you be interfering with the play when the puck is dead?

The Kings capitalized on their gifts from the officials with Dustin "Elbows" Brown tipping one past Brian Elliott. Brown also did his best to continue his streak of dirty plays by throwing an elbow that just missed Schwartz. Brown still connected on a dangerous knee-to-knee hit. 

SB Nation captured the moment perfectly. 

The second period lacked scoring, but it was far from boring. The Kings received two penalties, one for Jordan Nolan slashing Adam Cracknell repeatedly before a faceoff and one for Dustin "Pancakes" Penner for boarding David Backes. The Blues failed to convert on either power-play, going 0-for-4 on the night. 

The night could be summarized as a night of chances. Numerous times the Blues appeared to have a good look at goal. Sometimes that goal was occupied by Jonathan Quick, sometimes it wasn't. In both cases, the Blues fired the puck well wide of the target. Schwartz had a glorious chance to bury the puck with Quick sprawled on the ice, but he was unable to get a shot off. Such was the story all night. Big chance, no shot. 

After missing countless chances, the Blues leveled the game without even using their stick. Patrik Berglund hit the puck with his skate, sending it past Quick to tie the game. 

See? Put the puck on goal and crash the crease and good things might happen. You don't need to make a ton of fancy passes in front of the crease to create a goal. It can be ugly and most often times it is. Put the puck on frame and see what happens. Tie game. 

The rest of the night could be categorized by two memorable moments.

Brown crashed into Elliott, appearing to injure Elliott's right leg. Elliott was down for a decent amount of time before skating around and testing his leg out. Apparently he was good to go and remained in the game, much to the delight of worried Blues fans. 

The other moment occurred with :50.4 seconds left in the third as overtime looked like a certainty. Fine – you can watch Jackman's winner one more time. This time we'll use a video that starts around the 1:30 mark of the third, providing plenty of anticipation. 

Jordan Nolan looks like he's going to cry on the bench. Let it all out. Let us wipe your tears with our rally towels. 

Give credit to the Sobotka-McDonald-Stewart line here. They were mostly absent all night long. The Blues needed to get something out of this line. Well, they showed up when it mattered most, setting up Jackman's winner.

Two games to zero as the series shifts to LA. 

For the Blues, the formula to advance is now pretty simple.

1. Brian Elliott needs to be healthy. Let's hope an injury didn't develop in the hours following the game.
2. Put pucks on net. Seriously. Brad Boyes isn't on the roster, but you'd never know that watching last night's game.
3. Capitalize on chances. This is an expression used pretty often, but if the goalie is flat on his face and you can't even fire a shot, you're pressing your luck.
4. Maintain the physical play. The Kings can't contend with the Blues when Ryan Reaves and Cracknell are out on the ice. Keep using this strength.
5. Composure. Play smart on the road.

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