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ST. LOUIS (AP) Jaden Schwartz and the St. Louis Blues
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#1 ST. LOUIS (AP) Jaden Schwartz and the St. Louis Blues
waited most of the season for some late-game magic.They finally found it.Schwartz scored his second goal of the game 30 seconds into overtime to give St. Louis a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.It was the Blues’ third successive come-from-behind win in overtime. They beat Chicago 5-4 on Sunday after a 4-3 extra period win over the New York Rangers a day earlier.Going into Saturday’s game Jimmy Vesey Jersey , St. Louis had a 2-23-1 record when trailing after the second period.”We knew we had it in us,” coach Mike Yeo said. ”Obviously, we’re finding it at the right time.”The Blues won for the fifth time in six games to move within two points of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.Jake Allen made 21 saves to improve to 24-21-2.Ryan Donato scored for Boston. The Bruins clinched a playoff spot and moved within four points of Tampa Bay for the Eastern lead.Schwartz scored his third game-winning goal of the season with a nifty coast-to-coast march in the extra period. He took a drop pass from Colton Parayko and skated behind his own net to gain momentum.Schwartz weaved through a pair of defenders and drilled a hard shot from the slot past goalie Anton Khudobin, who made 18 saves.”I had some space and I just tried to pick up some speed,” Schwartz said. ”I wanted to see what was going to develop. I got a little one-on-one and just tried to change the angle.”Schwartz, who got his 15th career game-winner, missed 20 games earlier in the season with a broken ankle.”He’s a heck of a player, he’s fun to watch,” St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. ”He’s been so good for us this year in all aspects of the game.”Schwartz is having the time of his life during the Blues’ recent come-from-behind win streak.”We’re back to believing in ourselves,” Schwartz said. ”We’re doing a good job of playing the full 60 minutes and not giving up. We’re not panicking.”Schwartz tied it midway through the third period with a wrist shot from the top of the circle.Donato scored his second goal in his second NHL game. He had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 loss to Columbus on Monday night.Donato, still a student at Harvard University, returned to Massachusetts on Tuesday to attend class before flying back to St. Louis to rejoin the Bruins. His father, Ted, played 528 games in two stints with the Bruins (1992-99, 2003-04).Donato, who played for the U.S. Olympic team last month, drilled a shot past Allen in the first period. Pietrangelo’s clearing attempt hit referee Brad Watson and the puck bounced right to Donato.”That’s the goal Kevin Hayes Jersey , getting that playoff point is huge for us and being able to clinch that spot,” Donato said. ”But obviously we would have been a lot happier if we got the win as well.”Boston, which has a game in hand on Tampa Bay, joined Nashville and Tampa Bay as only teams to have clinched playoff spots.”Going into the season, we wanted to make the playoffs, be a Stanley Cup contender,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”Going forward, we want to be in the best position possible, playing the best hockey going in.”SHORT-HANDEDBoston was without seven key players:- C Patrice Bergeron (fractured left foot), D Charlie McAvoy (left knee), D Zdeno Chara (upper body), LW Jake DeBrusk (upper body), RW David Backes (right leg laceration), D Torey Krug (upper body) and LW Rick Nash (upper body). They have combined for 101 goals and 161 assists.NOTES: St. Louis RW Vladimir Tarasenko missed his second successive game after taking an elbow to the face against the New York Rangers on Saturday. … The Bruins have least one point in 12 of their last 15 games against St. Louis. … Only three Boston players – RW David Pastrnak, C Tim Schaller and C Sean Kuraly – have played in every game this season.UP NEXTBruins: At Dallas on Friday night in the second game of a four-game trip.Blues: Host Vancouver on Friday night. DALLAS (AP) The stress of stopping the puck with a game on the line is no sweat compared to what young goaltenders deal with waiting to be taken in the NHL draft.Even the best goaltending prospects usually have to wait through the first round and then some before their names are called. Top-rated Olivier Rodrigue went through that this weekend.”No expectation for the draft,” Rodrigue said. ”Totally a mystery. We all know it’s difficult for a goalie to be selected early.”It’s nearly impossible now as teams wait until the later rounds to shore up the most important position in the sport. Unlike quarterbacks and pitchers who are often top-10 picks in football and baseball, goaltenders in hockey are so difficult to project that only six have gone in the first round over the past decade – including none this year.No goaltender has been taken in the top 10 since Carey Price went fifth to Montreal in 2005. In the years since Kevin Shattenkirk Jersey , the philosophy has shifted drastically from trying to hit on an elite goaltender early in the draft to hoping for the best in rounds 2 through 7 like 23 different teams did on Saturday.”They’re so up and down and very few of them dominate,” Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. ”It’s hard. There are very few guys that are first-rounders that you can say at 18 are going to be Price or that type of goalie right off the bat. It doesn’t happen very often.”The first goalie off the board at this year’s draft was Olof Lindbom 39th to the Rangers. Armed with a successful Swedish goalie in 36-year-old Henrik Lundqvist, New York GM Jeff Gorton called taking Lindbom ”an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”But as Rodrigue knows, teams pass on goalies all the time. His father, Sylvaine, is a goaltending instructor for Edmonton, which traded up to take him 62nd at the end of the second round.Rodrigue was the second of 39 goalies taken in the 2018 draft that followed the recent pattern of the position being in demand but not early. Longtime Los Angeles Kings director of amateur scouting Mark Yanetti believes there haven’t been many generational goalies like Price and Marc-Andre Fleury recently but also points to the long development curve as a reason why they’re so rarely first-round picks.”With the rare, rare, rare exception of like a Carey Price, Fleury, it takes a minimum of probably four to six years for a goalie to develop,” Yanetti said. ”Drafting a goalie very, very high with the success that they tend to have or don’t have, -I think it’s right around 50 percent (odds of) becoming a regular NHL goaltender. I’m not even talking about elite.”For every Price Fleury and Roberto Luongo who have strong NHL careers, there’s a laundry list of top-10 goalies who never panned out. A year after Nashville missed on Brian Finley sixth overall in 1999, Calgary whiffed on Brent Krahn ninth in 2000, and while Al Montoya had a respectable career as a backup http://www.officialhockeyrangersshop.com...aal-jersey , he never lived up to going No. 6 to the Rangers in 2004.Montoya never played a game for New York, which is a common tale for highly touted goaltending prospects.”Most goalies around the league, with the exception of maybe three or four, they don’t really hit their stride until they’re probably 25 years old,” Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said. ”That’s seven years down the road and most of those guys have moved on to another organization. Not as many of them make it with the team that drafted them just because of the life cycle.”That uncertain life cycle makes front offices approach goaltender entirely differently than forwards and defensemen. Los Angeles has signed Martin Jones and Cal Petersen as free agents long after they went undrafted. Philadelphia did the same with Sergei Bobrovsky, who they gave up on early and traded him to Columbus, where he won the Vezina Trophy twice.”It’s almost like adding a first- or second-round pick to your roster for nothing,” Yanetti said of signing older goalie prospects. ”They’re much closer to a finished product and you’re getting a first- or second-round asset without using a first or second-round draft pick.”GMs like Tallon who aren’t goaltenders find evaluating the position harder and lean on their goalie coaches. To show just how inexact a science drafting a goalie is, nine went before the Washington Capitals took Braden Holtby in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, and he won the Vezina in 2016 before helping them win the Stanley Cup this season.In the past decade, teams hardly even try anymore and often stockpile goalies rather than rolling the dice on taking them with high picks.”People are understanding that the timeline of a goalie’s development path is longer and as the development path gets longer, I think inherently there’s more risk,” Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. ”I think teams are managing risk and they’re understanding that because of the length of that timeline that goalies move and sometimes are on their second or third team before they ultimately become the goalie that he probably expected when you drafted him that high.”—
03-14-2019 02:14 AM
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