Monday, December 19, 2016

Oilers tie it in third, win it 3-2 in OT over Blues

Second straight game Blues can't hold third-period 
lead on home ice despite Hutton's terrific performance

ST. LOUIS -- Two straight games on home ice, the Blues had a lead heading into the third period. 

Two games in a row, they come away with losses.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored with 2 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win against the Blues at Scottrade Center on Monday. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues goalie Carter Hutton makes one of his 32 saves in a 3-2 overtime
loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Nugent-Hopkins took a feed from Connor McDavid after the Blues were caught having to make a line change off a 3-on-2 when left wing Robby Fabbri fell in the offensive zone that enabled Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera to spring McDavid for the odd-man rush.

"He fell," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Fabbri. "What are you going to do?"

Tyler Pitlick scored for the Oilers (17-12-5), who opened a three-game road trip. Pitlick was injured with 4:26 remaining in the second while going into the corner with Blues center Jori Lehtera. St. Louis native and Oakville High School grad Patrick Maroon also scored and Cam Talbot made 25 saves. 

Kyle Brodziak and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for St. Louis (17-11-5). Carter Hutton made 32 saves.

"I thought we had some people do that (play determined) today; we just don't have enough," Hitchcock said. "They're a big team. They're big, they're fast, they're physical. You've got to have fight in you. I thought we had some guys that really brought it today. I thought we had some really good performances today, but if you're going to beat a team like Edmonton, you're going to have to have everybody on board. We didn't." 

Hutton was terrific and gave the Blues a chance to win. It was obvious he was dejected a bit after the game.

"It’s like the same story this year, just haven't really been putting up 'W's," Hutton said. "It's tough.

"I don't know, I’ll have to watch the game. I don’t even know who it was. I went down to block (the overtime chance), so I was looking around (Nugent-Hopkins) and it came through, kind of almost like a five-hole shot. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t pick it up. Ended up in the net. I don’t even know who scored it so whatever … it’s a tough one to take."

Maroon tied it 2-2 at 5:47 of the third period when he redirected Brandon Davidson's wrist shot from the right point. Maroon outworking Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson in front to get the deflection.

"That was good, especially playing in front of a team that I grew up watching," Maroon said. "We had season tickets and you always get up for those games no matter what. It's fun to play your hometown team that you grew up watching and to get a goal is an extra bonus for me and especially in front of my son (Anthony) and my family."

"It's not so much defensive zone," Hitchcock said. "It's getting beat out of the corner and getting beat at the net. That's not really d-zone coverage, that's just straight 1-on-1's. 

"We got beat out of the corner and we got beat at the net; in the net. Those are straight 1-on-1 plays." 

Edmonton almost won it with 36 seconds left after a Hutton giveaway, but Milan Lucic's shot hit the outside of the net. 

Brodziak gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 4:20 of the first period on a shot from the high slot. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues right wing Nail Yakupov (64) tries to push a puck past Oilers d-man
Kris Russell in front of goalie Cam Talbot on Monday.

Pitlick tied it 1-1 after a faceoff win and quick shot from the left circle at 11:44, but Tarasenko put St. Louis back in front 33 seconds later. Tarasenko can find anywhere on the ice to score, and his sharp-angle shot from near the offensive zone red line gave the Blues a 2-1 lead after collecting Fabbri's rebound.

"Played very well in the first," Hitchcock said. "I thought in the second period, we were kind of one-and-done. Didn't have enough zone time."

The Blues immediately left to charter their plane for Dallas, where they'll play the Stars Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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