RECAP: Blues 6, Oilers 2
Oilers stick with NHL's top squad for 40 but Blues score four in the third
SAINT LOUIS, MO - Despite former St. Louis Blue David Perron scoring the game’s first goal and being tied after two periods, the Edmonton Oilers were defeated 6-2 by the NHL’s top team at the Scottrade Center on Thursday night.
"We were encouraged after two periods. We were in the fight. Their forecheck got to us on the third and fourth goals," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.
"We were playing with them for two periods. We certainly should have been able to do it for 20 more minutes," the head coach continued.
"I thought we had a great chance to at least get a point and maybe get both but that's a measure of how the top teams in the league play. They play a hard, simple game and we've got to get stronger."
The Blues went on the attack early and their perseverance paid off with the Oilers being forced to take a penalty. Only 1:16 in, Mark Fraser received two minutes for holding during a wild scramble in front of Oilers starting goaltender Ben Scrivens.
The Oilers were able to kill off the penalty but shots nearly five minutes into the opening frame were 6-0 Blues. Edmonton finally registered its first shot of the game, a slapper from the left point by Boyd Gordon, at the 7:07 mark.
40 seconds later, the Oilers scored on their second shot of the night. Perron's laser from the high slot beat Blues starting goaltender Ryan Miller high blocker side to put the visitors in front early.
The goal seemed to spark the Oilers as they nearly scored again on the very next shift. Nail Yakupov was set up by Nugent-Hopkins with a great pass in the slot. Yakupov had two great chances but was denied by Miller. Moments later, Eberle's wrist shot was snagged from the air by Miller.
With 8:21 to play in the first, Roman Polak got sent off for tripping, giving the Oilers their first power play of the game.
St. Louis finally tied the game with 1:21 to go in the opening frame. Vlad Sobotka crashed the net and managed to slip the puck past Scrivens to tie the game up at 1-1.
Shots on goal after one period were 15-8 for the Blues.
5:05 into the second period, Vladimir Tarasenko picked up a feed from T.J. Oshie in the slot and wired it blocker side past Scrivens to put St. Louis in front 2-1.
Taylor Hall received two minutes for high sticking to send St. Louis back on the power play midway through the game but Edmonton was able to kill it off.
With 4:50 to play in the second, Oilers called a timeout after icing the puck following a sustained period of attack by the Blues in the Edmonton zone. The timeout worked as three minutes later the Oilers scored to tie the game.
The goal occurred on a wild play. Jesse Joensuu tried to leap over a fallen Barret Jackman but his knee hit the Blues defenceman in the head. With Jackman down, the puck went to Mark Fraser whose backhand somehow found its way through Miller and into the back of the net.
Shots on goal after two were 23-14 for St. Louis.
"First two (periods) were so so. We had a couple chances we converted on but they were a hard forechecking team that created a lot of trouble for us on our breakouts," said Oilers captain Andrew Ference after the game. "It's not about hurt feelings and emotions out there it's about converting turnovers and making mistakes."
Sobotka continued his impressive game after returning from injury, centring the puck from the corner to Alex Pietrangelo in front. Pietrangelo's quick release beat Scrivens to make it 3-2 only 42 seconds into the final frame.
"I thought we weathered the storm a bit in the first and made a push in the second but in the third they just took over," Perron remarked.
4:25 into the period, St. Louis struck again to double their lead to 4-2. David Backes centred the puck to to Jaden Schwartz at the hashmarks and he made no mistake, blasting the puck in for the goal.
"We need more patience in our game," Perron added. "I know it's a fast game out there and it's tough when they make you panic with the puck."
Luke Gazdic and Ryan Reaves tangled after the whistle and received 10-minute misconducts. Smyth also received two for cross-checking on the same play. Result was a power play for St. Louis that was then extended to a two-man advantage just over a minute later. Fraser received two for cross-checking to set up the five-on-three.
On the two-man advantage, St. Louis capitalized to extend their lead to three goals. Steen's point shot was kicked out by Scrivens but Oshie pounced on the rebound to make it 5-2.
Jaden Schwartz added another power play goal with just over seven minutes to go in the game to give the Blues a 6-2 lead.