Dec 6, 2014 4:25 PM
Martin Brodeur picks up win in relief for Blues
The Associated Press
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Martin Brodeur wasn't planning to be in net for the St. Louis Blues net on Saturday.
But after they fell behind the Islanders 3-0, the goaltender with the most victories in league history entered in relief and his new team rallied to win 6-4.
Paul Stastny scored twice including the go-ahead goal in the third period and Brodeur had his first win in a St. Louis uniform after 688 victories with the New Jersey Devils.
Stastny's second goal of the game and his fifth of the season at 13:26 of the third snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Blues their first lead. St. Louis fell behind by three goals in the first period, then replaced starter Jake Allen with Brodeur to start the second.
"It changed momentum to put me in there. It worked out well," Brodeur said. "When it was 3-3, I said 'Here we go. It's my game now.'"
Brodeur made 14 saves for career win No. 689 and his 52nd against the Islanders, the most for the 42-year-old goaltender against any team. Brodeur stopped Brock Nelson and Anders Lee in front early in the third and was hardly tested late.
"I felt pretty good. I'm not a guy that is used to come from the bench. I've got to get used to it, I think," Brodeur added. "I'm happy with the performance. I made some solid saves in the third to keep the game tied up and we scored some big goals after that."
Tavares scored against Brodeur to put the Islanders ahead 4-3 with 54 seconds left in the middle period. But TJ Oshie of the Blues tied the game 4:51 into the third with a power-play goal.
Vladimir Tarasenko sealed the win with his 17th goal at 17:32 of the third as the Blues improved to 17-8-2 and ended a two-game losing streak.
"We felt that if we kept fighting we'd be able to grasp this hockey game," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're hard to play against when we play our game."
Tavares' 11th goal at 19:06 on the power play salvaged a sloppy second period for the Islanders, who came in ahead 3-0, but allowed the Blues to score three times to tie the game.
After Frans Nielsen, Ryan Strome and Michael Grabner scored in the first, the Blues turned to Brodeur, who signed with St. Louis last Tuesday after playing his entire career with the Devils.
"It's not like it's a new building for me. I've played enough games here," Brodeur said of Nassau Coliseum, which the Islanders will leave after this season for Brooklyn's Barclays Center. "It's kind of nice that I was able to get in there and play in the final year of this building."
The Islanders had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the third time in their past 16 games.
"It was a lack of focus and attention to detail," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We have to trust ourselves that we can do better."
Nielsen opened the scoring at 7:57 of the first on the power play. He picked up a rebound in front of Allen and slid it into the net with assists to Nelson and Kyle Okposo for his sixth goal of the season.
Strome added his sixth goal unassisted at 18:01 after intercepting a clearing attempt by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk at the blue line.
Grabner who missed the first 25 games recovering from a sports hernia then scored his first goal in his second game back at 19:39 and Islanders cruised into the second with a 3-0 lead.
After Brodeur skated to the Blues crease and was greeted by the "Marty, Marty" chants, the Blues went to work against Jaroslav Halak, who played three-plus seasons for St. Louis and beat the Islanders twice last season.
Halak had his team-record 11-game winning streak snapped to fall to 14-5-0. The six goals were the most he'd given up this season.
Stastny scored on the power play at 2:36 of the second before Patrik Berglund deflected a Chris Butler slap shot at 4:28 to make it 3-2.
Shattenkirk, who also had two assists, tied it with a power-play shot from the point at 12:34 and suddenly Brodeur became the goaltender of record.
"He's one of those guys who when you look back on his career he has all these special moments," Shattenkirk said of his new teammate. "Fortunately a situation like this seems to be one of those, too, for our end."
Center Joakim Lindstrom also had three assists for the Blues.
Brodeur, the three-time Stanley Cup winner and all-time NHL wins leader, made his first start with St. Louis on Thursday, losing at Nashville 4-3.
Allen has allowed seven goals in four periods since Brodeur joined the team to replace the injured Brian Elliott.
Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson left the game at 7:15 of the second after a hit by Islanders forward Lee, who wasn't penalized on the play.
The teams meet again in St. Louis next Thursday.
NOTES: The Blues scratched forward Alexander Steen after warmups with a lower body issue. ... The Islanders were without injured defensemen Travis Hamonic, Lubomir Visnovsky and Johnny Boychuk. ... The Islanders honored Bob Nystrom, who scored the overtime goal to win their first Stanley Cup in 1980, before the game. ... Injured Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester missed his seventh straight game after playing 737 in a row.