With an eventful two-round playoff run, their second-ever outdoor game and plenty of comeback victories, 2022 was a memorable year for the St. Louis Blues. Here are our top 10 moments of the year, listed in reverse rank order.
10. Tarasenko records natural hat trick in third period, Blues beat Wild in Game 5 of playoff series (May 10)
With the Blues and Wild tied at two games apiece, there was a lot of momentum at stake in the fifth game of the first-round playoff series. While Ryan O'Reilly gave the Blues an early lead with a power-play goal, Minnesota's Kirill Kaprizov scored twice with the man advantage to put the Wild ahead 2-1 in the first period.
Brandon Saad tied it late in the second, but it was still anyone's game heading into the final period. That's when Vladimir Tarasenko took over.
Pavel Buchnevich put the puck on the doorstep for Tarasenko early in the third, and the veteran forward scored at 1:03 to put the Blues in front. Just 88 seconds later, Ivan Barbashev fed it to Tarasenko, who scored again to give St. Louis a two-goal advantage.
With Minnesota's net empty late in the third, Tarasenko scored a third time to complete the natural hat trick. Buchnevich and Justin Faulk each had two assists in the third as the Blues headed home with a ton of momentum. They went on to advance to the second round with a 5-1 victory in Game 6.
9: Parayko becomes first defenseman in club history to score on a penalty shot, Blues beat Kraken 5-0 in first-ever trip to Seattle (Jan. 21)
The Blues made their first-ever visit to Seattle on Jan. 21 to face the expansion Kraken, but that wasn't the only history they made that night.
With St. Louis up 3-0 in the third period, Colton Parayko got loose for a breakaway, but he was interfered with by veteran forward Jordan Eberle as he attempted to take a shot. Parayko was awarded the first penalty shot of his seven-season career, and the big defenseman delivered, scoring on Joey Daccord to give the Blues a four-goal lead. He became the 34th defenseman in NHL history and the first Blues D-man ever to score on a penalty shot.
Buchnevich, Tyler Bozak, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou also scored and Ville Husso had a 27-save shutout as the Blues defeated the Kraken 5-0.
8. Blues score six straight, including four with Jon Hamm in the booth in the second period, as they rally for a 6-3 victory over the Ducks (April 24)
The Blues got off to a rough start in a late-season matchup with the struggling Anaheim Ducks, falling behind 2-0 in the first period. Their fortunes quickly changed, however, when actor and Blues superfan Jon Hamm arrived in the Bally Sports Midwest broadcast booth to visit John Kelly and Darren Pang about eight minutes into the second. Kyrou interrupted Kelly's introduction of Hamm with a goal that put St. Louis on the board. Just 68 seconds later, Tarasenko scored on a rebound to tie it up. Barbashev, whom Hamm has spoken glowingly of while visiting the TV booth in past years, rewarded his biggest fan with a go-ahead goal at 12:37. And before Hamm went back to his seat, Faulk's slap shot gave the Blues a two-goal lead at 14:38. St. Louis finished with an incredible four goals over a seven-minute, nine-second stretch while Hamm was in the booth.
Buchnevich and Marco Scandella padded the Blues' lead with goals in the third period, and with a little magic from the man who played Don Draper, the Blues defeated the Ducks 6-3.
7. Rosen and Kyrou score twice each in second period as Blues set club record for most goals in a period with seven (April 17)
The Blues' offense, which was clicking on all cylinders heading into an Easter evening matchup in Nashville, had a historic night against the Predators.
As crazy as it sounds now, Nashville actually took the first lead of the night, with Nick Cousins scoring 4:16 into the first period. Schenn tied it up on the power play at 17:41, though, and St. Louis never looked back.
Tarasenko broke the tie just 1:11 into the second period, then Calle Rosen scored his first goal of the season to make it a 3-1 game at 4:24. Kyrou scored at 9:29, Rosen scored again at 12:10 and Nathan Walker scored 39 seconds later to make it 6-1 Blues. Schenn scored his second goal of the game at 16:27, and after Predators forward and St. Louis native Luke Kunin came up with a goal at 18:47 to make it a 7-2 game, Kyrou scored his second goal with 47 seconds remaining in the period to restore the Blues' six-goal advantage. All seven of the Blues' second-period goals came at even strength, and they set a franchise record for most goals in a period.
Nashville's Dante Fabbro had a goal in the third period to narrow the deficit a bit, but the Blues still came away with an 8-3 victory, extending their winning streak to nine games. The biggest star of the night was Rosen, who rejoined the Blues' lineup after three straight games as a healthy scratch. The 28-year-old defenseman had the first multi-goal game of his career and finished with three points and a plus-4 rating in the blowout victory.
6: Blues rally from 3-1 deficit, receive new life after Edmonton's nullified game-winner in overtime and beat Oilers 4-3 in shootout (Dec. 15)
If you're a fan of weird hockey happenings, the Blues' Dec. 15 matchup was for you. The game was unusual from the moment the puck dropped, when the Blues received a two-minute minor for submitting the wrong starting lineup when Saad took the opening shift instead of Schenn, the listed starter. Edmonton quickly took advantage of St. Louis' mistake, with Zach Hyman scoring a power-play goal at 1:03. Kyrou went top shelf to tie the game at 6:47, but the mental mistakes continued for the Blues, and after they took their second penalty for too many men on the ice early in the second period, Connor McDavid scored on the power play to put Edmonton back in front.
Kyler Yamamoto scored midway through the third period to increase the Oilers' lead to 3-1, and though Robert Thomas brought the deficit back to one goal less than a minute later, the Blues seemed to have little hope after Buchnevich took a tripping penalty with 1:02 remaining in regulation.
Tarasenko managed to beat the odds, scoring the first short-handed goal of his career to tie the game with 19.1 seconds remaining. The Blues held on for the remainder of regulation and went to overtime for a second straight game.
It appeared that the Oilers had won the game 2:22 into overtime as Leon Draisaitl took advantage of a second-chance opportunity and scored on Jordan Binnington. After replay review, however, officials determined that McDavid had gone offside prior to Draisaitl's goal, and the game-winner was nullified. The Blues received new life, and they kept Edmonton off the board for the rest of OT to send the game to a shootout.
Kyrou scored in the first round of the shootout and Binnington made three straight stops as the Blues came back from the dead to beat the Oilers 4-3.
5. Chris Pronger's No. 44 is raised to the rafters, then Blues overcome 2-0 deficit to beat Predators 5-3 (Jan. 17)
A variety of factors prevented the Blues from retiring Chris Pronger's jersey number as soon as most fans probably expected. Though the defenseman last played in November 2011, Pronger spent more than half a decade on long-term injured reserve with the Flyers and Coyotes while waiting for a long-term contract to expire, and after the Blues announced their intention to retire his number in January 2020, he had his celebration delayed by a season while waiting for full-capacity crowds to return after the pandemic. His No. 44 was finally raised to the rafters in January, though. Hall of Famer Al MacInnis delivered a touching tribute to his longtime teammate, and Pronger made an emotional but entertaining speech, cracking open a Bud Light and raising it to Blues fans as he received a rousing ovation.
The Blues — dressed in the blue and red sweaters that Pronger wore during the mid-90s — fell behind early to the Predators, but as was often the case in 2022, they found a way to fight back. Barbashev put the Blues on the board late in the first, then O'Reilly tied it with a power-play goal about a minute and a half later. St. Louis was in control the rest of the way, with Schenn and Barbashev scoring in the second period and Schenn adding another goal late in the third. Barbashev set a career high with four points as the Blues defeated Nashville 5-3.
4. Blues rally from 4-1 third-period deficit, Kyrou scores game-winner in overtime to complete 5-4 comeback win over Panthers (Nov. 26)
The Blues were at somewhat of a crossroads heading into a Thanksgiving weekend matchup with the Panthers. After an eight-game losing streak, they'd won seven straight but then were dominated by the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning during the first two games of a three-game road trip. Head coach Craig Berube's extensive changes to the lineup were evidence of how badly he felt the Blues needed a win — he scratched the entire fourth line of Alexey Toropchenko, Nikita Alexandrov and Tyler Pitlick and switched from a traditional 12-forward, six-defenseman mix to an 11-forward, seven D-man alignment, inserting Josh Leivo, Walker and Rosen. Backup goalie Thomas Greiss also took over for Binnington in the second game of a back-to-back.
Through the first two periods, the Blues looked as lost as they'd been during the first two games of the road trip. Greiss allowed two goals in the game's first three minutes and another at 8:47 in the first. Though Leivo made his presence felt by setting up Saad for a goal midway through the period, St. Louis was behind 4-1 heading into the third, and eight minutes into the final period, it looked as if they'd finish the trip winless. They began charging back at 8:16, when Rosen set O'Reilly up for a wraparound to narrow the deficit to two goals. A magnificent shot on the rush by Kyrou brought the Blues within one goal about five and a half minutes later, then Tarasenko tied it in thrilling fashion with 3:49 remaining in regulation.
Even a point would have been nice for the Blues on a rough road trip, but Kyrou brought the game and the trip to a perfect conclusion. After Torey Krug fed a pass from behind the Blues' net into the neutral zone, Kyrou broke away for his second goal of the night, an overtime game-winner. The Blues' 5-4 victory marked the first time they came back and won after trailing by three or more goals in the third period since Dec. 14, 2019, against the Blackhawks.
3. Stars hold Blues off board for first 59 minutes, but O'Reilly and Kyrou score power-play goals in final 47 seconds to complete 2-1 victory (Jan. 9)
There wasn't much going on for the Blues through the first 59 minutes of their Jan. 9 matchup with the Stars at Enterprise Center. While St. Louis was getting its fair share of chances, it had been held off the board by Dallas netminder Braden Holtby. Stars forward Jason Robertson had put the Stars ahead midway through the second period, and as the game drew to a close, it looked as if the Blues would be shut out on home ice, wasting a strong effort from Binnington. Undisciplined play by the Stars during the game's final two minutes, however, created an opportunity for St. Louis.
Jani Hakanpaa went to the box for hooking at 18:08, giving the Blues their fourth power play of the afternoon. With Binnington pulled for a delayed penalty, O'Reilly took advantage of a 6-on-4 opportunity, scoring on a rebound at 19:13 to tie the game. Dallas' Miro Heiskanen went off for slashing following O'Reilly's goal, giving St. Louis yet another power play. The Blues came up clutch again, with a Kyrou shot deflecting off Hakanpaa's leg and into the net with 29 seconds remaining. The 2-1 lead held up the rest of the way, and the Note completed an incredible comeback.
It was the Blues' 12th comeback victory in their first 36 games, and it was just the 11th time in NHL history that a team won in regulation after trailing in the final minute.
2. Blues arrive in beach attire for coldest game in NHL history, Kyrou has a four-point night in 6-4 Winter Classic victory over Wild (Jan. 1)
The game didn't start until 7 p.m., but some might say the Blues had already won the Winter Classic by the early afternoon. With frigid temperatures, the Blues dressed in beachwear — swim trunks, flip flops, Hawaiian shirts, towels, etc. — for their bus ride from the hotel to Target Field. It was a fun, ultra-confident decision that had the potential to backfire if the team didn't back it up on the ice. Fortunately for the Blues, they came out with an edge and never trailed as they improved to 2-0 all-time in outdoor games. Their bold pregame fashion statement served as inspiration for youth teams across the country in the following weeks.
The temperature at puck drop was -5.7 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the coldest game in NHL history. It served as a national coming out party for Kyrou, who collected points on four consecutive goals in the second period and finished with two goals and two assists. David Perron, Tarasenko, Barbashev and Krug also scored as St. Louis defeated the Wild 6-4.
1. Blues rally from down 3-0, Thomas ties it up at 19:04 in the third, then Bozak wins it in overtime to stave off elimination in second round of playoffs (May 25)
The Blues lost a lot of momentum during their second-round playoff series with the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche after Binnington was knocked out with a lower-body injury early in Game 3. Heading into a do-or-die Game 5 at Ball Arena, they trailed 3-1, and there wasn't a lot of confidence among the fan base that they could turn things around. The game got off to a concerning start, as Nathan MacKinnon scored twice in the first period and Gabriel Landeskog scored early in the second to put Colorado up 3-0. While Tarasenko narrowed the deficit to two goals late in the second, the Blues looked to be headed toward elimination as the final period began.
St. Louis still trailed 3-1 nearly halfway through the third, but Thomas scored his first goal of the playoffs to trim the Avs' lead to one goal at 9:57. Kyrou tied it at 15:14, but MacKinnon quickly took the wind out of the Blues' sails by completing a hat trick and putting Colorado back in front exactly two minutes later.
Despite the tough break, the Note didn't give up. Thomas scored for the second time in the period and the postseason with 56 seconds left, tying it at 4-4. The game went to overtime, and the 36-year-old Bozak — no stranger to playoff heroics — scored the winning goal with a slap shot at 3:38. While the Blues were ultimately eliminated in Game 6, Bozak's goal kept their playoff run alive a bit longer.