Blues split exhibition openers

The St. Louis Blues opened their preseason schedule with a win and a loss on Tuesday night in split-squad games with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The St. Louis Blues won and lost on Tuesday night in their two split-squad exhibition games against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

The Blues lost to the Blue Jackets, 3-1, in Columbus with Dmitrij Jaskin scoring the lone goal for the visitors in the third period. 

Jaskin’s goal was assisted by defenseman Jordan Schmaltz. Jake Allen allowed one goal on four shot attempts in the first period. Jordan Binnington played the final two periods in net and allowed one goal on 14 shots, for a .929 save percentage. 

The Blue Jackets also scored just 39 seconds into the 3-on-3 overtime period, an experiment by the NHL for designated exhibition games.

The other Blues split-squad team closed out a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets later on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center. 

“It’s hard to evaluate team-wise because the team play when everybody was fresh was pretty good structure and then when it got going in the second and in the third now you’re dealing with who can keep up to the pace,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “There were some odd-man rushes and stuff.” 

Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen each had a goal and two assists in the victory. Paul Stastny and Alex Pietrangelo also added goals. Defenseman Colton Parayko added two assists.

“It’s really nice to start the season — I know it’s an exhibition game anyway — but it’s really nice to start with a win,” Tarasenko said. “We’re trying to build a new mentality here and it’s a winner’s mentality, so win every game and every battle.”

Brian Elliott stopped eight of nine shots on goal in the first period. Then Pheonix Copley, one of the players acquired in the T.J. Oshie trade, made 13 saves on 14 shot attempts in the final two periods.

“Right now, for the first three games, we’re looking at individual evaluation,” Hitchcock said. “I thought we got a great read on some guys. I thought some of our younger (guys), especially our younger defensemen, were excellent today. Really good. 

“Copley in goal was excellent. Stastny’s line did a lot of good things. I thought (Robby) Fabbri was good today. I liked some of the guys that we’ve brought in like (Jordan) Caron and (Spencer) Asuchak and these guys, they did a heck of a job too. All in all we had good evaluation, first-game evaluation. A lot of good reads on younger players.”

The Blues will host the Dallas Stars in their next preseason game on Thursday night at Scottrade Center. 

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

 


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