April 16, 2014

Blues stumble at the end of the season dropping their sixth straight. Playoff schedule set as they face Chicago starting Thursday

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ryan Miller catches the puck on a shot by the Detroit Red Wings in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 13,2014.   UPI/Rob Cornforth

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ryan Miller catches the puck on a shot by the Detroit Red Wings in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 13,2014. UPI/Rob Cornforth

Justin Abdelkader scored twice and Riley Sheahan added a goal for the Red Wings, who got 23 stops from Petr Mrazek in goal for his second career shutout as Detroit rested forwards Johan Franzen and Daniel Aldredsson, defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser, and goalie Jimmy Howard with a playoff spot all wrapped up. Despite many of Detroit’s top players sitting the Blues were unable to score for the third time during this six game losing streak, falling 3-0.

The Blues also fell from first to second in the Central Division and will now host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first which begins Thursday.

Thursday, April 17 8 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis 

Saturday, April 19 3 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis 

Monday, April 21 8:30 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago 

Wednesday, April 23 9:30 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago 

*Friday, April 25 8 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis 

*Sunday, April 27 3 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago 

*Tuesday, April 29 TBD Chicago at St. Louis 

The Blues have been outscored 18-5 during this six-game losing streak and have only scored more than two goals, twice in the last 14 games over the final calendar month of the season.

The Blues spoke after the game about entering the playoffs with a six-game losing streak.  You’ll hear Alexander Steen, Ryan Miller, Derek Roy and Jordan Leopold

AUDIO

 

Friday night recap: Cardinals rally, but fall in extras. Royals blown out by Twins and Blues drop fifth straight

Chicago Cubs Wellington Castillo (R) is welcomed at home plate by Nate Schierholtz and Starlin Castro after hitting a three run home run in the 11th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on April 11 2014. Chicago won the game 6-3.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Chicago Cubs Wellington Castillo (R) is welcomed at home plate by Nate Schierholtz and Starlin Castro after hitting a three run home run in the 11th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on April 11 2014. Chicago won the game 6-3. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Cardinals rallied from down 3-1 in the ninth and tied it with two runs, then had runners on first and second with two outs in the 10th and manager Mike Matheny let Trevor Rosenthal bat. He took a called third strike, went out to pitch the 11th and Wellington Castillo hit a three-run homer off the Cardinals closer, and the Cubs beat the Cardinals 6-3 on Friday night.

“Trevor had a very efficient inning, throwing six pitches the previous inning,” Matheny said. “He’s arguably our best guy in the pen. We had an opportunity to get him back out there and start off the next inning with Bourjos, Descalso and then the top of the order, we like throwing our best guy out there and thinking it’s going to get us a zero to get us a chance to get back in.”

Matheny opted to call back Pete Kozma. Coming into Friday night, the
Royals had won seven straight games at Target Field and the Twins had lost nine in a row at home dating back to last September. That ended with former Mizzou star pitcher Kyle Gibson pitching into the seventh to improve to 2-0 as the Twins bombed out the Royals 10-1. Starter Bruce Chen allowed seven hits and six earned runs in 3.2 innings, and only 48 of his 87 pitches were strikes.

The St. Louis Blues (52-22-7, 111 points), lost its fifth straight, a 3-0 final at Dallas, and was without injured forwards David Backes (lower body), Brenden Morrow (lower body), T.J. Oshie (upper body), Derek Roy (upper body) and Vladimir Sobotka (lower body). St. Louis also lost center Patrik Berglund to an apparent shoulder injury in the third period.

Blues lose again, dropping their fourth straight and fall out of first place in the Central. Oshie gets hurt, watch the play (VIDEO)

T.J. Oshie is stopped by Minnesota goalie John Curry (photo/NHL.com)

T.J. Oshie is stopped by Minnesota goalie John Curry (photo/NHL.com)

The Blues were beat by the streaking Minnesota Wild 4-2 Thursday at Xcel Energy Center, and now with two games left in the regular season, the Blues find themselves in second place in the Central Division. The panic button may be within arm’s reach. Forward T.J. Oshie left the game with an upper body injury after being hit along the boards.

Oshie had the puck behind the net and skated along the boards where he was hit up high by Wild forward Mike Rupp, who received a match penalty.

“Certainly, it’s a tough hit to take right now,” Hitchcock said.

Watch the play courtesy of NBCSN and NHL.com

The loss was the Blues’ fourth in a row and Colorado defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 to move into first place. Colorado and St. Louis each have a 52-21-7 record for 111 points, but the Avalanche have more regulation and overtime wins (47-43).

Blues goaltender Ryan Miller was pulled early in the third after he allowed four goals on 13 shots. The Wild finished with 15, while the Blues peppered Wild goalie John Curry with 45 shots. Despite the huge advantage in shots and offensive zone time, the Blues still pick up another L.

 

Blues lose third in a row for the first time this season. First place in the Central now in jeopardy after Ovi nets his 50th

Washington Capitals Alex Ocechkin (8) of Russia celebrates his 50th goal of the season with his teammates in the first period of their game against the St.Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 8, 2014.   UPI/Rob Cornforth

Washington Capitals Alex Ocechkin (8) celebrates his 50th goal of the season with teammates in the first period  against the St.Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 8, 2014. UPI/Rob Cornforth

Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season and added two assists and Capitals goalie Braden Holtby turned aside 29 shots as Washington beat the slumping Blues 4-1 at Scottrade Center. The Blues lost their third in a row for the first time all season and now have just a two-point lead over Colorado in the Central Division after the Avs beat Edmonton 4-1.

Maxim Lapierre scored for the Blues. Ryan Miller, who beat the Capitals 2-1 in a shootout twice this season with the Buffalo Sabres, stopped just 18 shots in the loss. Captain David Backes missed the second half of the game with what Coach Ken Hitchcock said is a lower-body injury after Backes was struck by a slap shot from Alexander Steen. He is listed as day-to-day.

Ovechkin’s 50th of the season gave him five 50-goal seasons for his career, coming off a one-timer from the left circle with 2:06 left in the first period that gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead on the powerplay.

Ovechkin tied former Blues star Brett Hull, his father Bobby Hull, Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito and Pavel Bure for sixth all-time in the NHL in 50-goal seasons.

 

Rough weekend for the Blues who drop back to back to games against Central Division opponents with losses to Avs and Hawks

St. Louis Blues Kevin Shattenkirk leaves the ice, bloody and holding his arm after an altercation in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 5, 2014. Colorado won the game 4-0.   UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Blues Kevin Shattenkirk leaves the ice, bloody and holding his arm after an altercation in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 5, 2014. Colorado won the game 4-0. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Jaden Schwartz scored less than two minutes into the game and Vladimir Sobotka scored with 2:02 left in regulation for the Blues (52-19-7), but the offensive struggles continued in losses on both ends of a weekend back-to-back against the teams directly behind them in the Central.  The Blues lost 4-2 Sunday at Chicago, after dropping a 4-0 loss at home to Colorado on Saturday.

St. Louis (111 points), has four games left to catch the Boston Bruins (113) in the chase for the Presidents’ Trophy.  The Blues have scored two or fewer goals in eight of their previous 11 games.

Chicago’s Jeremy Morin scored a goal and an assist. Patrick Sharp scored his 33rd goal, Marcus Kruger made it 3-1 early in the third and Ben Smith capped it scoring into an empty net to seal it for the Blackhawks (45-19-15).

On Saturday, Colorado rallied with three goals in the first 10:25 of the second period, scored by Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon and Nick Holden, gave the Avalanche the lead, and Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves in a 4-0 victory against the Blues.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock does not like the trend.

“For me, it’s inactivity on the power play,” said Ken Hitchcock said after this 0-for-4 game. “When you’re not scoring goals, it puts a lot of pressure on a lot of areas. To me, it’s getting our best players, helping them along to get them to play better at this time of year.”

The Blues host Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.