UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Vladimir Tarasenko didn’t have a shot on goal in Saturday’s 6-3 loss in Montreal, something that never happened in 102 regular-season and playoff games last season.
(His only shot attempt in Montreal was blocked.)
“He had a couple opportunities there and didn’t get the shot off, missed it,” coach Craig Berube said before Monday’s contest against the New York Islanders. “So his execution’s off right now for me. And the other thing is just getting on the inside.
“You can’t play on the outside in this game — you’re not gonna get a whole lot done. He needs to get to the net more, get some dirty opportunities, you know. If you do that, and get there, you’re gonna get some dirty goals. And that a lot of times will get you going.”
Tarasenko must have been listening because he responded with his busiest offensive game of the young season, albeit in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders. He had a season-high five shots on goal and a season-high seven shot attempts (the five shots on goal, plus two blocked shots).
Most importantly, he scored his first goal of the season, a power play goal from the right faceoff circle, with 14 minutes 37 seconds left in the second period.
“He got a nice PP goal, but he’s inside the dot shooting that puck,” Berube said. “He got five shots on net. He played a lot better. It was good to see.”
Tarasenko was unavailable for comment after the game.
Forward Mackenzie MacEachern played in five preseason games, but had not appeared in a regular-season game until Monday against the Islanders.
Appearing on the fourth line with Oskar Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev, MacEachern played only 10 shifts amounting to a team-low 7:43 of ice time. But he had two hits and blocked one shot.
Most importantly, Berube liked what he saw, which could mean more appearances for MacEachern.
“I thought he was really good,” Berube said. “I thought he provided energy for us. That was a big thing for me, is energy. His skating is his strong point and I thought that he did a good job. He skated hard, finished his checks and pressured the other team.”
MacEachern, 25, appeared in 29 regular-season games for the Blues last season with three goals and two assists. He did not appear in any playoff games, and until Monday his last action other than the preseason came March 17 against Buffalo.
“It’s good to get back in there, and just hope that I can keep building, building a game and make it tough for them to take me out,” MacEachern said.
Getting used to the flow of the game was the biggest adjustment, MacEachern said.
“But other than that, skating felt good, and holding onto the pucks down low and being physical.”
To make room for MacEachern, Zach Sanford was a healthy scratch. Alexander Steen moved up to the third line.
Late in his career as a player, Berube played 38 games for the Islanders during the 2000-01 season, including several at Nassau Coliseum.
“It’s a great old building,” he said pregame. “I think they’ve done a great job of fixing it up. . . . And I know that the Long Island fans, they love it here, too. There’s a lot of history in this building.”
• Goalie Jordan Binnington still has not lost consecutive games in regulation during the regular season. But Monday’s overtime loss meant for the first time in his young NHL career he has failed to record at least one victory in a two-game sequence.
• Until Monday, the Blues had not played in Nassau Coliseum since Dec. 6, 2014, a 6-4 victory that marked Martin Brodeur’s first win in goal with St. Louis. In recent years, including this season, the Islanders have played at least some games in Brooklyn.