Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blues players in the system

2014-15 stats and bio information up to date

ST. LOUIS -- A report on prospects and minor players in the St. Louis Blues' system, with updated stats for 2014-15 season.

RW Victor Alexandrov, 5-11, 183 lbs (3rd round pick, 2004 NHL Draft): None available. Last played for Barys (Astana) of the KHL in 2012-13.

RW Sergey Andronov, 6-2, 200 lbs (3rd round pick, 2009 NHL Draft): Plays for CSKA Moscow of the KHL. In 29 games, 3 goals, 4 assists (7 points). 

C Ivan Barbashev, 6-1, 190 lbs (2nd round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 23 games, 19 goals, 21 assists (40 points).

RW Cody Beach, 6-5, 200 lbs. (5th round, 2010 NHL Draft): Plays for the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. In 18 games, 1 goal, 5 assists (5 points) and 96 penalty minutes.

LW Samuel Blais, 5-11, 178 lbs. (6th round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL. In 22 games, 12 goals, 14 assists (26 points).

C Pat Cannone, 5-11, 192 lbs. (undrafted free agent): Plays for the Wolves. In 21 games, 5 goals, 10 assists (15 points).

RW Jaedon Descheneau, 5-9, 186 lbs. (5th round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. In 24 games, 14 goals, 14 assists (28 points). 

C Jacob Doty, 6-3, 218 lbs. (undrafted free agent): Plays for the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League. In 11 games, no points and 19 penalty minutes.

C Robby Fabbri, 5-10, 178 lbs. (1st round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. In 18 games, 16 goals, 16 assists (32 points), 30 penalty minutes, plus-8.

RW Benn Ferriero, 5-11, 185 lbs. (free agent signing): Plays for the Wolves. In 11 games, 1 goal, 3 assists (4 points). 

C Colin Fraser, 6-1, 191 lbs. (free agent signing): Plays for the Wolves. In 20 games, 4 goals, 4 assists (8 points). 

C Max Gardiner, 6-3, 190 lbs. (3rd round pick, 2010 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for Penn State University. In 11 games, 2 goals, 1 assist (3 points).

LW Dmitrij Jaskin, 6-2, 196 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for Wolves and Blues. In 12 games with the Wolves, 3 goals, 8 assists (11 points). In 6 games with the Blues, 1 goal.

RW Sam Kurker, 6-3, 210 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2012 NHL Draft): Plays for the Sioux  City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. In 16 games,  9 goals, 6 assists (15 points) and 42 penalty minutes.

C Maxim Letunov, 6-2, 155 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. In 18 games, 10 goals, 12 assists (22 points). 

LW Mackenzie MacEachern, 6-2, 192 lbs. (3rd round pick in 2012 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for Michigan State University. In 12 games, 4 goals, 5 assists (9 points). 

LW John McCarthy, 6-1, 200 lbs. (free agent signing): Plays for the Wolves. In 10 games, 2 assists.

C Phil McRae, 6-1, 196 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2008 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. In 18 games, 5 goals, 7 assists (12 points).

LW Zach Pochiro, 6-2, 160 lbs. (4th round pick, 2013 NHL Draft): Plays for the Prince George Cougars of the WHL and played for the Aces. In 8 games with the Aces, 2 assists. In 4 games with the Cougars, 2 goals, 2 assists (4 points).

RW Austin Poganski, 6-1, 198 lbs. (4th round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for the University of North Dakota. In 10 games, 1 goal, 2 assists (3 points).

RW Ty Rattie, 6-0, 178 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. In 21 games, 12 goals, 2 assists (14 points).

LW Dmitry Semin, 5-10, 176 lbs. (5th round pick, 2001 NHL Draft): Plays for Ufa Salavat Yulayev of the KHL. In 31 games, 2 goals, 3 assists (5 points) and 25 penalty minutes.

LW Evgeny Skachkov, 6-0, 194 lbs. (7th round pick, 2003 NHL Draft): Plays for Ufa Salavat Yulayev of the KHL. In 32 games, 3 goals, 11 assists (14 points).

C Ryan Tesink, 6-0, 175 lbs. (6th round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for the Aces of the ECHL. In 16 games, 1 goal, 2 assists (3 points).

RW Dwyer Tschantz, 6-5, 209 lbs. (7th round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for Cornell University. In 2 games, has 1 goal.

LW Yannick Veilleux, 6-2, 208 lbs. (4th round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. In 21 games, 4 goals, 1 assist (5 points) and 26 penalty minutes.

RW Sebastian Wannstrom, 6-1, 180 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2010 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. In 14 games, 2 goals, 7 assists (9 points). 

C Jeremy Welsh, 6-3, 200 lbs. (free agent signing): Plays for the Wolves. In 21 games, 5 goals, 6 assists (11 points).

RW C.J. Yakimowicz, 6-2, 210 lbs. (6th round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for the London Knights of the OHL. In 22 games, 6 goals, 4 assists (10 points).

Joel Edmundson, 6-4, 200 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. Has yet to play this season.

Jani Hakanpaa, 6-5, 218 lbs. (4th round pick, 2010 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. In 11 games, no points, 11 penalty minutes.

Petteri Lindbohm, 6-2, 196 lbs. (6th round pick, 2012 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves and is on recall by the Blues. Played one game with the Blues. In 19 games with the Wolves, 4 goals, 3 assists (7 points).

Colton Parayko, 6-4, 195 lbs. (3rd round pick, 2012 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. In 13 games, 4 goals, 6 assists (10 points).

Andrei Pervyshin, 5-8, 163 lbs. (8th round pick, 2003 NHL Draft): Plays for Sochi HC of the KHL. In 11 games, 3 goals, 1 assist (4 points).

Brent Regner, 6-0, 190 lbs. (free agent signing): Plays for the Wolves. In 21 games, 3 goals, 7 assists (10 points).

Santeri Saari, 6-1, 191 lbs. (6th round  pick, 2013 NHL Draft): Plays for Bofors IK of the Sweden-1 League. In 18 games, 5 assists.

Jordan Schmaltz, 6-2, 192 lbs. (1st round pick, 2012 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for the University of North Dakota. In 14 games, 1 goal, 7 assists (8 points).

Dmitrii Sergeev, 6-2, 195 lbs. (undrafted free agent): Plays for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. In 23 games, 3 goals, 12 assists (15 points).

David Shields, 6-3, 205 lbs. (6th round pick, 2009 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves. In 13 games, 4 assists.

Tommy Vannelli, 6-2, 175 lbs. (2nd round pick, 2013 NHL Draft): Plays for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. In 22 games, 9 goals, 6 assists (15 points), 34 penalty minutes, plus-10.

Jake Walman, 6-1, 175 lbs. (3rd round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays collegiate for Providence College. In 12 games, 3 assists.

Konstantin Barulin, 6-0, 176 lbs. (3rd round pick, 2003 NHL Draft): Plays for Avangard Omsk of the KHL. In 30 games, 16-8-3 with 3 shutouts, a 1.87 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.

Jordan Binnington, 6-2, 160 lbs. (3rd round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for the Wolves and is on recall by the Blues. In 9 games with the Wolves, 6-2-1 with a1.89 GAA and .925 save percentage.

Ville Husso, 6-1, 182 lbs. (4th round pick, 2014 NHL Draft): Plays for HIFK-Helsinki of the SM-lliga of Finland. In 22 games, record unavailable, 2.18 GAA and .921 save percentage.

Niklas Lundstrom, 6-1, 194 lbs. (5th round pick, 2011 NHL Draft): Plays for the Aces of the ECHL. In 12 games, 6-6-0 with a 3.07 GAA and .887 save percentage.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tarasenko OT goal saves 4-3 win against Oilers

Blues fought through to earn two points against bottom team in 
Western Conference; Oshie notches three points, Pietrangelo has goal, assist

ST. LOUIS -- It's been known for the Blues to bring out the best of both worlds during a game.

They can go from top to bottom and bottom to top all in one 60-minute (or 65 if overtime's needed) contest.

The Blues brought their A-game against the Edmonton Oilers in the first period  Friday night, then brought their F-game. It was a night where, as coach Ken Hitchcock would say, they would have to reel the game back in.

The Blues had the better of the opportunities -- and more of them -- against the Oilers on Friday night.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Vladimir Tarasenko (middle) is mobbed by teammates after scoring in
overtime Friday night in a 4-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers.

The shot margin was 41-16 in favor of the Blues, who somehow found themselves having to work overtime to collect two points.

And against a desperate team looking to snap multiple skids, the Blues felt if they remained resilient, the result would play out in their favor.

Vladimir Tarasenko's goal with 39.4 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Blues a 4-3 victory against the Oilers before 17,666 at Scottrade Center. 

Tarasenko took a puck from Jori Lehtera, weaved through the middle of the ice before cutting past Oilers  defenseman Justin Schultz and fired a wrist shot on the short side past Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens.

"I was waiting on a pass from Jori," said Tarasenko, who leads the team in goals with 13 and tied Alexander Steen with his third game-winning goal. It was his second game-winner in overtime.

"I know (Lehtera's) going to pass it to me," Tarasenko added. "It was kind of lucky because puck was bounding. I'm happy to have two points right now."

T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists (the 10th time in his career he's had three or more points), Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Blues (15-6-2), who got 13 saves from Jake Allen.

"I liked our first and third," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who tied Mike Keenan for sixth place on the all-time coaching wins list with 672. "I liked a lot of guys in the first. I liked (Paul) Stastny's line in the first and I liked Stastny's line in the third. I didn't like anybody in the second period. We didn't manage the puck very well. We were too far ahead of the play and we've had that before. We had it on the road in Boston and in Montreal and it popped its head again. There were some people that really tried to grab the game in the third period and play the right way. In particular, Stastny's line started to really play the game the right way and it started to drag a few more people. [Patrik] Berglund played a good hockey game and started to manage the game properly. I think more and more guys got involved and managed the game properly."

The Oilers (6-14-4) are 0-11-3 against Western Conference foes this season and are on a nine-game winless streak (0-6-3). They were playing the second of back-to-back games after losing 1-0 in overtime against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. 

"This is an extremely hard and tough situation for everybody in our organization, from the players to the coaches to the managers, it is hard and it is painful and somewhere you have to believe that this is going to make you extremely resilient and tough down the road," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "Are you sitting there sometimes going, 'What is it going to take to get a bounce, to get a call, to get something in your favor,' and right now it doesn't seem like hockey wants to give that to us. Even on nights where we believe that we do deserve the break or that we've earned the break." 

Former Blues David Perron and Nikita Nikitin scored for the Oilers, Taylor Hall had two assists and Scrivens stopped 37 shots.

"I think we're getting what we deserve right now," Scrivens said. "I don’t think we're playing good enough to win in the NHL."

On their 14th shot of the period, the Blues took a 1-0 lead on Oshie's second of the season. After getting a drop pass from Tarasenko, Oshie stepped into a slap shot and beat Scrivens with a one-timer from the top of the right circle with 8 minutes, 25 seconds left in the first period. 

The Blues were buzzing all over the Oilers zone and outshot Edmonton 15-3 in the first period but only led 1-0.

"A lot of chances early," said Oshie, who doubled his season point total. "That first power play was the best two minutes that I’ve been on this year. A lot of chances. I think as a team we had a really good first period.

"Me and Shatty work on those every warm-ups. I was actually terrible at it today. I just got a hold of one and it was nice for it to go in. I felt bad skating away from my teammates though on the celebration."

But as thoroughly as the Blues dominated the first, the Oilers were only down one goal. Edmonton picked up the pace and was the better team in the second period. 

Perron tied the game 1-1 on a shot from between the circles 5:51 into the period after a defensive breakdown, and Nikitin came in and took a backdoor pass from Hall and snapped a one-time shot from the left circle past Allen with 3:14 left in the period. It was the Oilers' first lead in a game since defeating the New York Rangers on Nov. 9.

"Obviously the second wasn't out best in terms of how we wanted to manage the puck," said Pietrangelo, set a career high with 10 shots on goal. "We did a lot of good things offensively I thought. I thought we had a lot of opportunities. Defensively I think we didn’t skate as well as we needed to on coverage and with pucks. In the offensive zone, if you want the first and third periods, we had a lot of good opportunities."

The Blues didn't take too well being down after two periods, and Shattenkirk's shot from the blue line through a screen 31 seconds into the third period tied the game 2-2. 

David Backes’ forecheck behind the Edmonton goal freed the puck for Oshie, who fed Shattenkirk. He beat Scrivens as Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry screened his goalie. 

Arcobello gave the Oilers the lead at 3-2 when the Blues failed to clear the puck, and he beat Allen from the slot 3:55 into the third off a centering feed from Hall. 

Pietrangelo tied it with 7:35 remaining when he cleaned up Oshie's miss from right in front; beating Scrivens on the open side high into the net after the Blues had sustained pressure.

The Blues, who did not have to kill a penalty on the night, had the power play in overtime but were not able to solve Scrivens. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Alexander Steen (20) of the Blues tries to get past Edmonton's Andrew 
Ference during action Friday night at Scottrade Center.  

On the other end, Allen spent most of the night passing the time. Nine of the Oilers' 16 shots came in the second period, so the Blues' goalie was focused mostly on staying mentally sharp.

"That was the toughest game I’ve played in a long time," Allen said. "[Three] shots in the first. But the team has sort of nothing going right away and then they get a huge flurry of action. It is tough but it's no excuse. Definitely not my best game. The guys battled in front of me and helped me out and got me some goal support and came up with the win, which is a big thing right now. We’re just focusing on wins and however we can get them that’s the main thing."

Allen will get the start against the Minnesota Wild Saturday in Minnesota, and the light workload certainly helps in that regard.

"It's nice in that sense," he said. "We got the win and didn't get too many shots. It'll be a little easier tomorrow."

* NOTES -- Blues defenseman Barret Jackman left the game in the third period after blocking a shot. Jackman hobbled off the ice and remained on the bench. Afterwards, Hitchcock said Jackman had x-rays and they were negative and made the trip to Minnesota and should play. 

Forward Steve Ott left the game and did not accompany the team to Minnesota. Hitchcock said he sustained a groin pull and will be out "a couple days," According to the coach. Chris Porter will play in Ott's place Saturday night.

Brodeur has kept himself fit to play

Goalie will make ultimate call, with help from Hitchcock, Corsi

ST. LOUIS -- Martin Brodeur wouldn't have given the Blues -- or anyone else -- a second thought if he felt like he couldn't still make the cut.

The future Hall of Fame goalie, who spent his entire career (21 seasons) with the New Jersey Devils, feels like he still has game in his blades. So instead of hanging them up, the chance to sharpen those skates a few more times and prep the pads are worth more than calling it a career.

Brodeur, 42, who took the ice Friday with the Blues on a tryout basis hoping to land a contract and help a team while injured Brian Elliott (lower body) is out week to week, has remained active through the first couple months of the season while waiting for a chance to land with an NHL team.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Patrik Berglund (left) fires a shot Friday on goalie Martin Brodeur.

"As much as I could," Brodeur said Friday morning. "It's like anything, it's hard. I was ready to go for training camp. I worked out exactly the way I needed to be ready to go and I didn't get a job. Now it's been 2 1/2 months since then. ... For me, I was able to play hockey a little bit, get some skates in, get some good workouts in. For sure, not the level of the players because it's almost impossible as a non-active player to have that kind of lifestyle but I tried to do as much as possible between week to week.

"I skated a little bit before training camp to get ready. After that, I took a couple weeks off. I skated for about two weeks. Took a couple weeks off the ice skating-wise. It just happened that the team in New Jersey was on the road in Western Canada for about 10 days and I skated every day with Gomer (Scott Gomez) and other guys out there. I've been on the ice, but this is kind of a different level."

"I think it's the conditioning part of it is one, but it's the feeling," Brodeur added. "The feeling with the guys to see how it goes and everything. I'm not coming in and expecting to play 20 games in a row right away. I'll be able to maybe get a start here and there and get going throughout practice. It's only hockey. I can't worry about it too much."

And that's why the Blues took a chance on Brodeur while Elliott recovers, and give 24-year-old Jake Allen some stable support.

"I think he said it best: he wants it to end on his court, on his note so he's going to do that," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Brodeur. "He looks in tremendous shape. He's worked awfully hard in that part of it. This is going to end up being his call because it's going to be his standard that he's going to have to meet. He can meet the standards of the National Hockey League tomorrow, but it's going to be his standards that he's going to have to meet and he's going to be the one determining that."

The Blues will take a look at Brodeur for the next few days, with a decision likely to come within the next week, probably before the Blues depart for a three-game trip to Chicago on Tuesday.

"We'll get a really good understanding where he is probably by Tuesday afternoon," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said of Brodeur. "... He wants to play, and he's kept himself in good conditioning. He's been skating in New Jersey. We were a team that he reached out to. I talked to (agent Pat Brisson) early in the season, and we're real comfortable with Jake and Brian, but we don't have experienced depth in our organization. Any short-term injury, a game or two, I think I'd be very comfortable with (Jordan) Binnington. Binnington might be the guy in a week; I'm not sure, but when we saw it was going to be an extended period of time, we went this way. Marty still has a desire to compete. His resume speaks for itself, so it seemed like a very easy solution for us to take a look at."

Brodeur has an open mind.

"It's not like I'm gonna get in the nets and play 10 games in a row," Brodeur said. "It's going to be quick. I think if I'm able to get some good, quality time. 

"Today was a really good day and hopefully the next few days will be as good. After that, we'll have to make a decision. The team is going to go on the road for a little while there and we'll see where we're at. I'm not here to change anything (regarding) the plans of the Blues. I'm here to help out. If it means signing me and keeping me around for a while, that'll be great. But if not, I know Brian Elliott and Jake Allen's been doing a great job. I'm not here to stir anything what's going on here. They're having a great season so far."

And if Elliott comes back sooner than thought, and Brodeur is still here, Armstrong said they'll deal with it.

"That's a high-class problem," Armstrong joked. "We'll assess that when we get to that point. Right now we're worried about getting a look at Marty and getting him into a situation to see if he still wants to play after practicing for a week with an NHL team and monitor that. I'm not going to try and rub the crystal ball and see where we'll be weeks ahead. I'm just trying to get competent players so we can go on this road trip."
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Martin Brodeur takes a break from practice Friday morning.

Goalie coach Jim Corsi and Hitchcock will be all over this call, but the decision will ultimately come down to whether Brodeur can do this or not.

"Well I had Eddie (Belfour), so I know what to look for," Hitchcock said, referring to his time with Belfour in Dallas. "I'm pretty experienced at this, so between Jim and I, we'll work it out."

"'Father Time' will catch up to everybody at some point," Armstrong said. "Marty doesn't believe it's caught up to him yet. I just think he was the No. 1 guy that would want to come in here, that we would want to talk to."

Blues players welcome Brodeur with open arms

One wasn't even born when goalie's NHL career began

ST. LOUIS -- Imagine being Jaden Schwartz walking into the Blues' locker room on Friday morning and the first glance he got was of a guy who's career started before he was even born.

That's what Schwartz was faced with when he met future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur for the first time.

Brodeur, who was brought in by the Blues for a tryout with hopes of eventually landing a contract with the loss of Brian Elliott (lower-body) to injury on a week to week basis, was on the ice with Blues players for the first time at the morning skate prior to the Blues playing the Edmonton Oilers.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Martin Brodeur donned the Bluenote for the first time Friday at
Scottrade Center.

"I never met him before, but it's pretty cool for a guy who's had such a great career to be able to come in here," Schwartz said of Brodeur. "I've watched him growing up a lot. Obviously seen him play a lot of hockey."

Brodeur, with his 688 wins, three Stanley Cups and 124 shutouts started his career in the 1991-92 season. Schwartz wasn't born until June 25, 1992.

"His accolades that he's collected, championships and stuff like that ... for me as a young guy, it's probably a little cooler," Schwartz said.

Brodeur, who arrived in St. Louis Thanksgiving morning and spent the American holiday away from family and friends, spent his first day with the team getting to know players and those in the organization, signing memorabilia, getting his first workout on the ice and being the consummate player.

"Just off professionalism and his love for the game, he's picking up pucks at the end of practice," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Brodeur. "That's a Hall of Famer doing that type of stuff. I think that rubs off on a really good way with a lot of players."

Indeed it does.

"It's pretty special," captain David Backes said. "It's not every day you get a Hall of Famer come to the rink and try and stop pucks. It's almost a little unnerving. You don't want to hit him in the head and make the old man mad. I think Jax is the happiest guy here knowing he's not the oldest guy anymore. It's great to have him out there. He battles his butt off. He knows where you're shooting it before you're shooting it.

"The sad thing about my knowledge of Marty is he's been in the East and I've been in the West and we barely played each other. I think the most I saw of him was Olympics in 2010. His goaltending abilities, his record speaks for itself and I think his competitive nature is second to none. A guy that can move the puck with the best of them too. I don't know how much he's got left. He obviously thinks he can still play. I'm nobody to tell him he can't."

But before he even got to the rink, it was bestowed upon fellow French Canadian Maxim Lapierre, who hails from Brodeur's town of Saint-Leonard, Quebec, to escort Brodeur to the rink. Needless to say, Lapierre was in awe.

"I'm not going to lie, when the team text me last night to drive him to the practice this morning, I was pretty nervous," Lapierre said. "I was telling my wife last night, 'I don't know what I'm going to tell him.' It was the first time I feel kind of shy a little bit. But it went well like we expect. He's a great guy and I think he looked pretty good today."

To which Brodeur joked about Lapierre, "Usually you think French guys, we all know each other, but it's not true. It was really nice of him, but I've got to get my own car here now."

Brodeur becomes the oldest player at 42 in the locker room, much to Barret Jackman's delight.

"Marty's got me by a couple years," the 34-year-old Jackman joked, before referring to Steve Ott. "Otter's first comment was, 'You're not the oldest guy anymore.' His experience speaks volumes for how good of a teammate and how good of a player he is. It's going to be fun to pick his brain on some things. It's fun to have him around.

"He's one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game. Hopefully things work out for him and he's here for a while. It's fun for the guys in the dressing room right now."

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo agreed.

"He certainly has a good track record," Pietrangelo said. "To have 688 wins, that's pretty impressive. He's one of the best all-time. To see him sitting in our room is pretty special.

"He's obviously a guy I grew up watching. It's pretty cool to see him sitting in your dressing room. A little different being in a Blues uniform, but we're obviously excited to have him. We know the experience that he brings. It's going to be great for Jake (Allen) and Binner (Jordan Binnington) both to have a guy like that here. ... We know what he can do on the ice. Jake's been playing great, and we've got a lot of confidence in Jake. Having a guy like that sitting beside Binner too, it'll be good for him to pick his brain a little bit."

Besides throwing on Blues colors for the first time, or another NHL colors and logo for the first time in his career being strange, signing that John Hancock on memorabilia was just as weird.

"Yeah. Especially the first puck I signed that was St. Louis Blues, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to sign it or not," Brodeur joked. "I've got to get used to it quickly.

"I made sure I'm all decked out right away ... just to make sure how I feel right away (in Blues gear). It's weird. There's no doubt about that."

(11-28-14) Oilers-Blues Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues aren't looking at the Edmonton Oilers as the team with the fewest points in the Western Conference.

The Oilers, 0-11-2 against Western Conference foes this season coming off a 1-0 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday, are winless in the past eight games (0-6-2). 

And on the second of back-to-back nights, all the numbers support the Blues (14-6-2) to have an easy time of it Friday.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock views Edmonton as a team to be reckoned with.

"First of all, we're looking at the last five periods they played," Hitchcock said of the Oilers. "They should have won the last five periods. They deserved to win last night. They played great in the last two periods against Dallas (on Tuesday). That's the five periods we're focused on. 

"What their record is, is not relevant for me. It's the way they're playing. They look like they're starting to catch up. The continuity and balance between checking and offense looks like it's really caught up. They look like a team that's starting to go this way (pointing upwards) now."

The Blues are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss against the Ottawa Senators and want to get their own ship squared away after losing a 2-0 third-period lead.

"Our focus more is we did not play that great against Ottawa," Hitchcock said. "We had no legs, we had no energy. It's more about us getting our energy back. 

"These are two big weekend games back-to-back. I told our players if we don't play the way they play. We don't have that type of transitional speed that they do, but I don't think that they can play the way we play. So we have to dictate. For us to win, we have to dictate the game today. That means we've got to get them stopped and we've got to get them defending, and that's the whole focus. If we make them play defense more than they want to, I think we can win the hockey game. But if we get caught in that transitional game that I saw the last five periods, it's going to be a tough go for anybody."

Left wing Jaden Schwartz said the players took the meetings Friday talking about the Oilers to heart.

"They're going to be a hungry hockey team," Schwartz said. "I saw they put up 37 shots yesterday on (Pekka) Rinne. I heard they outplayed them for a lot of the game. They're going to be a hungry hockey team looking for a win obviously. We know what that's like when you've got a couple losses in a row. You want to get that win badly. We're not going to take them lighter than we do any other team."

- - -

Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (lower body) will not play tonight or tomorrow night in Minnesota and will miss his third and fourth games, respectively.

Bouwmeester, who saw his Ironman Streak come to an end at 737 games when he was injured last week in Ottawa, is expected to be ready to skate with the team after Sunday's off-day.

"'Bouw' skated for a second day today," Hitchcock said. "He's going to practice with us on Monday. He'll take tomorrow off, skate full with the training staff on Sunday and he'll practice in full with us on Monday."

- - -

The Blues are going with a country flavor to their lines tonight against the Oilers.

There will be an American Line, a Swedish line and a ... Euro Line?

Hitchcock said Schwartz plays like a 'Euro' to go with Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko.

"No, I'm going to have to disagree with him on that one," Schwartz joked when told of Hitchcock's comment. "But I'll take the compliment."

- - -

With a win tonight, Hitchcock can tie Mike Keenan for most career coaching victories (672) and be tied for 6th all-time. Pat Quinn, who passed away on Monday, is 5th at 684.

- - -

The Blues' probable lineup:

T.J. Oshie-Paul Stastny-David Backes

Alexander Steen-Patrik Berglund-Joakim Lindstrom

Jaden Schwartz-Jori Lehtera-Vladimir Tarasenko

Steve Ott-Maxim Lapierre-Ryan Reaves

Barret Jackman-Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Chris Butler-Ian Cole

Jake Allen will start in goal. Jordan Binnington is the backup.

Chris Porter and Magnus Paajarvi will be healthy scratches. Brian Elliott (lower body) and Jay Bouwmeester (lower body) are out.

- - -

The Oilers' projected lineup:

Taylor Hall-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov-Mark Arcobello-Teddy Purcell

Jesse Joensuu-Leon Draisaitl-David Perron

Luke Gazdic-Boyd Gordon-Steve Pinizzotto

Nikita Nikitin-Mark Fayne

Oscar Klefbom-Jeff Petry

Justin Schultz-Andrew Ference

Ben Scrivens is the likely starter after Viktor Fasth, who is expected to be the backup, was the starter Thursday in Nashville.

Scratches include Keith Aulie and Martin Marincin. Benoit Pouliot (broken foot), Matt Hendricks (leg) are injured.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Practice gets heated; USA, Sweden lines play out 
Wednesday; Allen's demeanor; Binnington's stay could be short-lived

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues' practice Wednesday at Scottrade Center had a little bit of everything.

An eventful practice full of pace and intensity had its share of light-hearted moments, like when Jaden Schwartz  beat Barret Jackman in a 1-on-1 drill, scored and Jackman playfully tripped up Schwartz to the ice as the rest of the team roared with approval of Schwartz's skill and finishing ability; like when coach Ken Hitchcock accidentally threw up a wall along the boards and Joakim Lindstrom skated into his coach and went down, which even got the coach to laugh, and when the fire detectors at Scottrade accidentally went off and the players mocked as if they were leaving the ice when Hitchcock was talking at his whiteboard.

But things got a little intense during a small-ice drill that culminated with captain David Backes and Vladimir Tarasenko needing to be separated on the ice as the heat of the drill got all those involved, and Backes and Tarasenko happened to be the guys that barked, with Backes doing most of the barking and needing to be separated by teammates, including Barret Jackman.

Cooler heads prevailed in a moment that happens to all teams but not often.

Hitchcock made light of it afterwards.

"It didn't matter who it was with Backes," Hitchcock joked. "He was just ready to practice and Tarasenko was one of seven players who got in his way today. 

"It was exactly what you want your captain to do. He elevated the level of practice and away he went. Vladi just happened to be one of many who got in his way."

As media members watched in surprise, Blues fans quickly were curious just what went on.

"It's a battle practice," winger T.J. Oshie said. "It's something that was building up that maybe should have come out a little sooner. It wasn't necessarily the two guys that it had to be, but when your captain says something, whether you have 18 goals or you have a slumping one goal, you listen. You listen to Backs. 

"As far as emotions and work ethic, Jax and Backs are two leaders that have been our leaders a long time who have been playing their best hockey as far as the way we want to play, the way the coaches preach. You listen to them and when they step up, if you don't listen, that's what happens."

Hitchcock agreed.

"That's hopefully what we expected to happen with that drill," he said. "That's a very good offensive-defensive drill. You would hope that you would have a lot of that. We had some battles that were close to it in the other part of practice that was down low and you're hoping you get to see that type of energy and when you get in those drills that are that close-quartered, scoring drills, hard scoring drills, you're going to get battling because those guys that are defending, they don't want to get scored on. A forward doesn't want to get beat down low, get beat to the net. A guy wants to try and score goals. Those are things that happen every time you put those drills in. I haven't seen it any other time that it hasn't. 

"David had a burr today because he felt like we let a point slip away yesterday and he was not happy. Did what a captain did, raised the level."

Were punches ready to be thrown?

"There was not going to be that happening," Hitchcock said. "Between them two looking at each other and about 12 guys jumping in, there was never going to be anything happening. (Backes) ran over about six guys today. Vladi was just the last guy in his way."

* Line em up by the country -- Hitchcock had an Olympic-themed flavor as far as line combinations at practice Wednesday, as he used an American line, a Swedish line and what he called a Euro line ... and a dog-themed line.

The American line consisted of Backes, Oshie and Paul Stastny, the Swedish line had Patrik Berglund centering Alexander Steen and Joakim Lindstrom and Magnus Paajarvi, the Euro line had Jori Lehtera, Tarasenko and Schwartz -- or better known as the STL Line -- and the fourth line (or as Hitchcock called them the hound dog line) remained the same with Steve Ott, Maxim Lapierre and Ryan Reaves with Chris Porter.

"We didn't play together over there (in Sochi, Russia)," Oshie said. "We were told we were going to, but we didn't play together. 

"It was good. It was a hard practice, a lot of battle drills, but I feel like from the Olympics, 'Stas' and I have a lot of really good chemistry and obviously 'Backs' and I for the majority of each season for the past five years, we've been playing together. There could be some chemistry on that line. We'll see. We'll see what's on the board when we come in on Friday."

Hitchcock, in typical fashion, downplayed the changes with a broader picture in  mind.

"I wanted to look at it at practice," he said. "I put a Swedish line out there; I had four guys from Sweden in one line. That's an American line, I got a Euro line because Schwartzy plays like a Euro. I'm not sure ... then I got a hound dog line. I'm not sure what I got going, but I wanted to look at it today. Today was a good day.

"... I wanted to see it ahead of time. Today was a day I afforded myself to look at it, but it's all with the thought process that we need to spend way more time in the offensive zone. We're not in the offensive zone near enough for extended time. Our offense comes from extended time. We're not a quick-strike team like some other teams are. We are one of the best teams in the league with extended time in the o-zone and we just don't have enough extended time (during a 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa on Tuesday). We've got to find combinations that get on the grind, stay on the grind and that's what makes us so effective. It's what makes our power play so effective. We've scored so many goals late on power plays because we stay with it. That's the same way our 5-on-5 game is. We've not done that as much as we'd like to this year and we'd like to get back to that element."

The Blues will be looking to get the details back into their game that saw them win twice on the tail end of a four-game trip that culminated with a strong 4-2 win at Winnipeg on Sunday.

The details seemed to lose themselves Tuesday against the Senators, when the Blues blew a 2-0 third-period lead.

"Tired legs make tired minds," Hitchcock said. "Our legs were tired and you want to be sharp in the mind. We had tired legs and then what happened, we managed the game really well. We had a 2-0 lead going into the third period and then we started managing the puck very poorly. We took a couple penalties because of it and we started turning it over in the gray zones and started complicating our offense and it got to where we allowed the other team to come back. It's not the way you want to play."

* Calm, cool Allen -- With Jake Allen taking the reigns in light of Brian Elliott's lower-body injury (believed to be a knee sprain), Allen will be thrust into the spotlight as the go-to guy in goal for the Blues.

And despite the team announcing on Wednesday that they are bringing in future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur for a tryout to potentially team up with Allen while Elliott is sidelined, no matter what the news or challenge thrown Allen's way, he seems to keep an open and even-keeled mind.

"What Jake has is this calm demeanor," goalie coach Jim Corsi said. "That calm demeanor allows him to focus on his game as opposed to the meaning of the game. 

"The nirvana of what we're trying to do with our goaltenders is if the game is in September, it's an exhibition or it's Game 7 in June, we want to reach a level where it's consistent so there's no pressure because pressure is really trying to do something that you're not prepared to do. That's what I feel is pressure. What we're trying to do is have our guys trust the work that they've done. It prepares them for the game.

"(Allen's) a pretty relaxed guy as far as his skill-set. Jake and Ells are high-end goaltenders. There's no peaks and valleys. Both guys have this calm demeanor. It's quite nice. I'm the guy that's more skittish. That's being the way I am, but it's not with regard to their play; it's my nature. You have to have that kind of calm in the storm.

Allen has been in this position before, when he was called up from the team's then-American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, back in 2012-13 when Jaroslav Halak was injured. Hitchcock at the time said Allen saved the team's season during the lockout-shortened campaign that enabled them to make the playoffs.

"It seems like he never panics in there," Oshie said of Allen. "He never panics in the locker room, he never gets frustrated it seems like. Maybe underneath the mask he does, but he definitely doesn't show it. He did a pretty good job back then (in 2012-13). I think every goaltender always wants to be No. 1, a guy you can count on. Jake's stepping up to the plate right now."

With a heavy, compressed schedule the Blues are staring at in December with four games in six days to begin the month, Allen feels he's capable of playing most or all of the games. He did so last year with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

"I played a lot last year. I'm used to it," Allen said. 'I've done a lot of it in my career. I'm not too worried about it. You've just got to focus on your energy a little bit."

"The really good part for me is that he took this load big time mentally and physically last year, so he's used to this," Hitchcock said of Allen, who is 6-2-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. "He played a ton last year. He played some three-in-three nighters, three in two-and-a-half days a couple times. He's more than capable handling this load mentally. ... We trust him. He's done a great job all year.

"I've never seen a guy so even-keeled for me. It looks like not much bothers him. ... I'm not sure quite frankly some days if he even knows who we're playing. He just comes and plays and gets ready. He's got a really good attitude towards being a goalie. He's very unique."

One thing is for certain. With Allen in goal, there is no shortage of confidence among Blues players.

"I think this is a good opportunity for him, too, to kind of step up and assume that No. 1 role for a little bit," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said of Allen. "This is only going to be better in the future for him going forward. He's shown it, and he's shown that he can do it. 

"You see the guys that do it in the league, they do it night in, night out. It's going to be a good way for him to kind of learn and become a mature goalie."

* Binnington's stay short-lived? -- Before the Blues decided to invite the 42-year-old Brodeur into camp for a tryout, they recalled Jordan Binnington, a 2011 third-round pick under emergency conditions.

Binnington, 21, was at practice Wednesday after making the trek down Interstate-55 from Chicago. He spent the night Tuesday in Bloomington, Ill. before making the final three-plus hours into St. Louis Wednesday morning and is ready to do whatever's necessary.

"I feel confident with myself," said Binnington, who was 6-2-1 with a 1.89 GAA and .925 save percentage with the Wolves this season, his first in the AHL. "... Whatever happens, happens. Work hard and wait for any opportunities that come about.

"It's not my call. My job is to just work hard and make it difficult for these guys to score in practice, stick with it and just push myself every day to get better."

Hitchcock has noticed Binnington's numbers get better by the day.

"What's interesting for us is he had an average training camp and then played great in exhibition," Hitchcock said. "He went to Chicago and his play at the end of the exhibition has elevated where he's a top-three goalie in the American Hockey League. He's got a goals-against average of like 1.90, save percentage almost .930, so his numbers are excellent. The only thing he lacks is experience. It's unfortunate for him he's not going to get a lot of playing time here, but man, he's had a great start to his American League career. It feels similar to where (Allen) was at three years ago. He's got a high profile reputation coming out of junior. Had a learning curve that he's gone through already. Now he's starting to emerge as a top goalie in the American Hockey League. Now he's got to come and be a little bit of a backup here. Hopefully it isn't for long, but he's really had a great start to his season."

Binnington carried his play in 2013-14 with the Kalamazoo Wings of the East Coast  Hockey League, where he was 23-13-3 with a 2.35 GAA and .922 save percentage, to this season.

"It was definitely a bit of a change, but there's good players out there," Binnington said. "There's competition everywhere. It's really a good test every night. Any given team can win, any goalie can play and steal a win for a team. It's a lot of fun and I've enjoyed it so far.

"I think I've been working on my foot speed quite a bit. I was talking to Jim (Corsi) about that. At this level, the puck moves really quick, so you've got to keep up and shots are harder. You've got to read the play and stop the puck."

Elliott sidelined week to week; Brodeur invited to try out

Blues' goalie injured Tuesday against Senators; 
future Hall of Famer will work out with team

ST. LOUIS -- There's typically not good news associated with the injury of a player, but for the St. Louis Blues there was a cautious collective breath of relief knowing goalie Brian Elliott will not need surgery.

Elliott, who departed the Blues game against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday with 6:02 remaining in the second period with a lower-body injury (believed to be a knee sprain), has been termed out week-to-week by the team.

And with an unknown time frame, the team announced Wednesday that they are bringing in veteran goalie Martin Brodeur on a tryout basis.
(Getty Images)
Martin Brodeur has been brought in by the Blues on a tryout basis. He will
join the team Friday at practice.

Brudeur, 42, will join the Blues on Friday for a morning skate prior to facing the Edmonton Oilers at Scottrade Center and continue to practice for at least a week before the team decides whether to offer him a contract. 

Elliott had stopped all 16 shots and left with the Blues leading 2-0, a game they eventually lost 3-2 in a shootout. Elliott was involved in a scramble for the puck in the Blues crease when Senators forward Erik Condra tumbled over Elliott, whose leg buckled underneath him. He skated off on his own power after trying to convince head athletic trainer Ray Barile that he could continue, and did not return.

The Blues will turn the reins over to Jake Allen, who is 6-2-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .920 save percentage, and they recalled Jordan Binnington from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League under emergency conditions.

Brudeur, who has spent the past 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils and is a future Hall of Famer, was not offered a contract by the Devils this past summer and has been out of work since.

"I think we looked at our schedule and we're playing four games a week," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We have a young guy in the American Hockey League (Binnington) who's just getting his career started. We've got a young guy in the East Coast Hockey League (Niklas Lundstrom with the Alaska Aces) who's just getting his career started, and we've got a young guy in the NHL (Allen) who's getting his career started. In fairness to all three goalies, they need to have some support. Marty offers, depending on how he looks, he offers organizational support. I have a background with him, so we know each other."

Brodeur is the NHL's all-time leader for wins by a goalie, shutouts, losses and games played. His background with Hitchcock comes from being on the same team at three Winter Olympics with Canada and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Brodeur, who has a 668-394-105 record with a 2.24 GAA and .912 save percentage, has been working out on his own and awaiting the right opportunity to join another team.

"It's an opportunity for him to practice and be around an NHL team and it's an opportunity for us to take a look at him," Hitchcock said of Brodeur. "In fairness to Jake, it gives him some stable support behind him if it works out with Marty.

"... (Brodeur's) a real pro. He's the most normal goalie I've ever met in my life. Normal as in ... you can't believe how he acts as if he's a forward or defenseman. That part I know. I know how good he is in the locker room, and I know how good he is and has been for everybody else."

As for Elliott, the Blues are looking at an insurance policy in case Elliott is sidelined for a lengthy period of time.

"He's week-to-week and we'll kind of address it every Sunday and see how he is," Hitchcock said of Elliott, who is 8-4-1 with an NHL-leading 1.82 GAA and a .931 save percentage that ranks third. "About as close as I can give you now. We've got 'Binny' in here and we'll just kind of look at it every seven days and see how it is. It could be literally week-to-week. 

"[Elliott's] had this type of injury before and it's recovered quickly and nicely. … But we don't want to be saying it's five or six days and then it's 14 or whatever. So we'll leave it at week-to-week and see where we go."

Elliott, who was re-signed this past summer to three-year, $7.5 million contract to be the No. 1 goalie moving forward and form a tandem with Allen, was frustrated at the thought of leaving the game Tuesday. He threw his stick in disgust as he departed the ice going through the tunnel to the locker room.

"Adrenaline's flowing, but we've got to make sure," Hitchcock said. "If it was a skater, this would be moment-to-moment. But he's a goalie and you need your knees, especially if you're a butterfly goalie. 

"We're not taking any risks here. We want him back at 100 (percent). Jake can cover the load for a little while here."

Allen, who was the AHL goalie of the year last season, assumes the role of No. 1 moving forward. He's been in this position before when he was thrust into action two seasons ago after an injury that sidelined Jaroslav Halak.

"It's another game," Allen said. "It's unfortunate what happened to Ells. He's played so great this year. It's just a tough break, a weird play. It doesn't matter which one of us is really in the net. We're going to give the guys a chance every night. Looking forward to it to play a few more games, but hopefully Ells is back quick.

"I don't feel any different than if Ells was here. To me personally, it's just another game; same group of guys in front of me. I'm looking forward to it. The only bone for me is I get to play a couple more games. That's the positive, and the negative obviously is unfortunate that Ells is out, and he's a big part of our team. Hopefully he gets back soon."

Elliott's teammates feel bad for a guy they consider one of the hardest workers the Blues have.

"A guy who's worked so hard to get to this position and then something like this happens," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "Fortunately it wasn't something too major, but it stinks and that's another test for him to kind of stay with it, and we know he's going to take care of himself and work to get back as soon as he can. For a goalie, just take your time and be confident in the rehab and all that and I think he'll be back. Fortunately he won't be missing the end of the season. He'll be back for the meat of it and we're going to need him then."

The Blues have had arguably the best 1-2 tandem in the League thus far with Elliott and Allen, who have been ranked at or near the top in all goalie statistical categories. Confidence will not be shaken now that Allen assumes the temporary role of No. 1.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Brian Elliott was injured Tuesday against Ottawa and is listed
as week to week with a lower-body injury.

"We do have a lot of faith in 'Snake,'" forward T.J. Oshie said of Allen. "He's been great as well all year. He's got a lot of responsibility on his hand to go night in, night out until Ells gets back. But we're definitely confident in front of him."

Hitchcock has relied on a 1-2 combo for his tenure as coach of the Blues. It's a little different challenge until Elliott returns, with Binnington's lack of NHL experience. Binnington is 6-2-1 with a 1.89 GAA and .925 save percentage with the Wolves, but only had limited minutes playing preseason games in the NHL.

"I look at it as opportunity," Hitchcock said. "Jake's earned the right. I think the challenge is that we fly a little bit solo now. This is something that other organizations, other teams have gone through. Some have gone through this year, a lot went through last year. We've just got to get focused on one guy being the goalie and see how we do from there. There's that comfort zone with the tandem. The tandem's been excellent, arguably the best tandem in the League. Now Jake's got to grab the ball and run a little bit solo with it."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blues fail to hold lead, drop shootout to Senators

Team blows 2-0 third period lead, lose Elliott to injury

ST. LOUIS -- If there had been anything as a sure bet in the past, it was the Blues and third period leads in the past.

The Blues had been one of the best teams at locking down third period leads, and they were 9-0-0 this season with a lead heading into the third period.

But there had been a few blips in the radar this season and the Blues were able to escape with the necessary two points when they lost a lead but prevailed in the end.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Vladimir Tarasenko (right) and Senators goalie Robin Lehner pursue a
puck during action Tuesday night at Scottrade Center. 

And to make matters worse, the Blues lost  starting goalie Brian Elliott to a lower-body injury that coach Ken Hitchcock didn't sound very optimistic about afterwards.

The Ottawa Senators overcame a two-goal deficit in the third and prevailed on Bobby Ryan's shootout goal to win 3-2 at Scottrade Center.

The Senators got a pair of third-period goals from Erik Condra and Alex Chiasson, and Ryan scored the lone goal in the shootout (in the third and final round). 

Robin Lehner stopped all three St. Louis shooters and made 27 saves in regulation and overtime to allow Ottawa (10-7-4) to cap a comeback from a 2-0 third-period deficit with a win.

The Senators, in the second of a five-game trip, got a goal from Chiasson with 40.4 seconds remaining to tie the game after pulling Lehner.

Ian Cole and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues (14-6-2), who lost Elliott to a lower-body injury in the second period.

With the Blues holding a 2-0 lead, Condra tumbled over Elliott, whose right leg appeared to buckle under him during a scramble for the puck in the Blues crease. After trying to skate it off under head athletic trainer Ray Barile's watchful eye, Elliott left the ice and threw his goalie stick while he was going down the tunnel.

"Yeah, it's real tough," defenseman Barret Jackman, who passed Brett Hull into third place on the franchise list for most games played (745), said of Elliott. "I'm sure he'll get evaluated tomorrow and see how bad it is. He's been playing unbelievable for us. Jake did a good job coming in, too. It's tough to see a guy like Ells, who works so hard, go down."

Cole agreed.

"It's definitely hard to see a teammate get hurt and not be able to finish the game, especially when you're Brian Elliott, who cares so much about playing well, cares so much about winning, especially against one of his former teams," Cole said. "... You know how hard it must be for him not to be able to finish the game, with the lead, having played so well early with a shutout going. It’s definitely tough but being able to kind of put that to the side and continue to play and continue to play well is something we have to get better at. Obviously didn’t do that."

Elliott, who stopped 16 shots, was replaced by Jake Allen with 6:02 left in the second. Allen and Elliott combined to stop 31 shots. 

"We'll let you know tomorrow," Hitchcock said. "Injuries are part of it. We'll see how long he's off for."

Ryan scored after Allen stopped Kyle Turris and Mike Hoffman. 

"Low glove side," Ryan said, describing his shootout goal. "I really tried to feather it in, didn’t get as much on it as I would have liked but maybe that was a benefit."

Lehner was able to deny T.J. Oshie, Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko.

"They have fantastic players, they are very good," Lehner said of the Blues. "You just have to be patient. It was nice."

Ottawa's Chris Neil scored during the battle in the crease, but after video review, it was deemed no goal because Condra made incidental contact with Elliott prior to the puck going into the net. 

The Blues seemed to rest on their laurels and weren't able to finish the game. They were 1-for-6 on the power play, including two chances in the third period to ice the game.

"They picked up the pace and we went back and stopped playing," Steen said. "... We were just sloppy in general. Second half of the game, we just weren't good enough in any areas."

"Tonight's really disappointing," Hitchcock said. "The loss is one thing, but the way we played at times is disappointing. Attention to detail and focus. Coming back, we took a day off, get re-energized. I thought our focus was really inconsistent. Poor at times execution, not close to what we played on the road.

"We played really poor. We didn't play well at all. ... Our attention to detail has to change. You come back off the road, that's the risk you play with, but we really lacked detail in our game today and that's what losing hockey is. When you don't have detail in your game, eventually you crack. Both goals, we didn't block shots, we didn't get in lanes. Both goals, we gave up easy entries ... you don't do that stuff if you're paying attention to detail. We had a chance to clear it in the last minute and we're fishing for it. You don't do that stuff."

Condra redirected Eric Gryba's wrist shot from the blue line top shelf past Allen with 12:05 remaining in the third period to cut the Blues' lead in half at 2-1. 

Chiasson poked a puck past Allen to tie the game 2-2 after Mike Hoffman's shot from the blue line squirted through the Blues goalie's legs. The Senators had pulled Lehner for a sixth attacker.

"It's all the things you need to do: blocking shots, getting in lanes, clearing pucks, hitting the net off the rush from the outside, all the things that you need to do to really hammer a game down, we didn't do," Hitchcock said. "We left the game out there. Had a chance on the power play at the end and didn't bear down. We used it as a rest period again instead of burying it."

It took three pucks in the net for one to count Tuesday; two goals were waved off in the first period. 

Cole gave the Blues a 1-0 lead with 5:37 remaining in the first period on his first goal since March 6 (30 games). His shot from the point got past Lehner after it hit off defenseman Erik Karlsson.

"Yeah, it is nice," Cole said of his first goal. "I tried shooting hard in the first part of the year and it didn't go in, so I figured I'd try the change up and it went in."

Jaden Schwartz's power-play bid was waved off after officials ruled Blues center Jori Lehtera had made contact with Lehner with 12:16 remaining in the first period. 

Moments later, Condra thought he scored a shorthanded goal with 10:34 left in the first, but officials whistled the play dead because they felt Elliott had the puck covered. Replays showed the puck had squirted behind Elliott, but it was out of sight for the referees. 

The Blues added to their lead on Steen's power-play goal with 7:55 remaining in the second period. Paul Stastny's cross-ice feed enabled Steen to step into a wrist shot from the edge of the right circle that beat Lehner short side. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues defenseman Chris Butler (25) is being hounded by Ottawa's Mark
Stone during the Senators' 3-2 shootout victory Tuesday night.

Ryan had a chance to win it in overtime, but his shot hit the far post on a one-timer from the left circle. 

Lehner stopped Lehtera's attempt on a wraparound moments after Ryan's shot.

With the way the game is played these days, third-period leads are typically as good as gold. The Blues can't be happy to only gain a point out of this.

"It was definitely disappointing," Cole said. "We pride ourselves on being able to lock it down in the third and not allow a team to come back. Obviously we pride ourselves on being good in shootouts, too. In both those instances we failed tonight, for sure."

Now they have to hope for the best case scenario when it comes to Elliott.

"Goalies have been the heart and soul of our team," Steen said. "Biggest reason why we've been winning, so it's tough to see a guy like 'Moose' go down."