Pittsburgh Penguins-St. Louis Blues: Halak Continues Dominance Over The Pens

Dominic ErricoCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2010

ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 22: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the St. Louis Blues makes a save against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scottrade Center on October 22, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguin fans had to be thrilled when the Montreal Canadiens traded playoff hero Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues this summer. 

Darn shame they didn't trade him to the KHL. 

Halak was brilliant once again over the Penguins (5-3-1), making 31 saves and tossing an overtime shutout.  He was absolutely magnificent the entire game, but none more than the final two minutes of regulation when the Penguins were buzzing relentlessly around the net.  What can you do but tip your cap to a guy who played perfectly.

Let's not sell the efforts of Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson short either.  He also made a lot of stunning saves against his former team to keep the game scoreless until overtime.  He just wasn't quite as good as Halak, and it was the difference in the game. 

You could tell Johnson was quite frustrated after allowing the overtime game winner to Erik Johnson.  It did look like maybe he could have made a better play on the puck, but Erik Johnson made a good play in my opinion and the Blues (4-1-2) got the well earned win.

Sidney Crosby continued to struggle against the St. Louis Blues.  He still has not scored a goal against them in five tries.  The Penguins really could have used one tonight.

As I watched this game unfold it looked exactly like what Penguin fans saw from the Pittsburgh-Montreal playoff series from last year.  St. Louis really only showed offense in small bursts, but their defense was outstanding.  The Penguins also played very sound defense and the hitting from both sides was at playoff intensity.

Once again the Penguin power play put up a goose egg.  In a game this close, even one tally probably could have made a huge difference. 

All in all, though, I just didn't see very many mistakes by either team in this one.  Very sound hockey played by both teams, and the Penguins do manage to escape with a point in the standings.

The loss snaps the Penguin's winning streak at four and also ends their perfect record on the road.  They'll look to get back on track this Wednesday on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning.