ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Alex Pietrangelo scored two goals, Jake Allen made 36 saves and the St. Louis Blues defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Wednesday night.
This was the game that was rescheduled after Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode 12:10 into the first period on Feb. 11. It started with the score tied 1-1, as it was at the time of the postponement, after goals by Anaheim’s Adam Henrique and St. Louis’ Ivan Barbashev carried over.
“We were all running on tired legs. It wasn’t pretty but I thought we did a pretty good job of managing the energy and getting through it,” Pietrangelo said.
Blues coach Craig Berube said the return to the Honda Center could have been emotional, but it wasn’t mostly because Bouwmeester is doing better. The 36-year-old defenseman is on injured reserve for the rest of the season after he had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted into his chest last month. It is a device that monitors heart function. It also can deliver a shock to the heart if an arrhythmia happens to restore a regular heartbeat.
“I thought our team was upbeat during the morning skate and coming onto the ice,” Berube said. “We had to compete to stay with them. It was a pretty even game.”
Pietrangelo put the Blues on top 2-1 with 3:52 remaining in the first on the power play. The St. Louis captain fired a one-timer from the blue line. He then had an empty-net goal with a minute left in the game for his 16th goal of the season.
St. Louis has won nine of its last 11 and lead the Western Conference with 94 points. Allen has won his last four starts with a 1.23 goals against average and 95.3% save percentage.
Zach Sanford scored the go-ahead goal with 2:47 remaining in the second period. He made it 3-2 when he pounced on a rebound after Ducks’ goaltender Anthony Stolarz made a pad save on Ryan O’Reilly’s wrist shot. The Blues were also aided by an extra skater due to a delayed penalty.
Henrique finished with a goal and an assist for Anaheim — which had a four-game points streak snapped — while Jani Hakanpaa had his first NHL goal. Stolarz, who was making his first NHL start of the season, stopped 33 shots.
Hakanpaa evened it with 6:32 remaining in the second with a wrist shot from the slot that got past Allen while he was being screened.
“We had some opportunities we didn’t bury that can change the momentum of the game. I thought our goalie did a great job tonight stepping in and making some key saves at key times to keep us in it,” Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said.
NOTES: The Ducks are donating 19% of all merchandise sales plus the charitable half of the 50/50 raffle to UC Irvine Hospital, whose medical staff treated Bouwmeester. Nineteen is Bouwmeester’s jersey number. … Henrique has points in three of his last four games and 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his last 10. … St. Louis has won five of its last seven in Anaheim.
Blues: Host the San Jose Sharks on Friday.
Ducks: Make the short drive to face the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in the third game of the Freeway Series.
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