STL
29-17-2
EDM
19-22-7

25 SOG
19 SOG

Oilers shut out by Blues

Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com | Sunday, 03.24.2013 / 1:21 AM

EDMONTON - Goals by Chris Stewart, Alex Steen and TJ Oshie, along with 19 saves by Jaroslav Halak, propelled the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 shutout win over the Oilers Saturday night at Rexall Place.

With the loss, the Oilers dip below the .500 mark with an 11-12-7 record after collecting four of eight points (1-1-2) on this most recent homestand. The club now goes back out on to the road with back-to-back games in Nashville and St. Louis.

"It's very disappointing," said an under-the-weather Head Coach Ralph Krueger post-game. "We played right into their hands. It was a dream road game for them because we made it easy on them.

"We need to work on playing the game we need to play to be successful in the Western Conference here at home. With the proper result today, we would have all been smiling -- but this (loss) dominates today."

Combined with a win by Dallas Stars, the Oilers maintain their 13th-place position in the West, four points back of a playoff spot. In the remaining 18 games, the Oilers have 10 at Rexall Place.

"Losing to St. Louis is not the problem," said Krueger. "The problem is if we lose this way."

"We've had good games at home and we feel comfortable playing here," added Taylor Hall, who did not record a shot on goal in the loss. "When a team comes in our building like this and they push us around, it's not good for us, it's not good for our fans and we didn't react the way we should have."

The Blues opened the scoring at 3:20 as Stewart recorded his team-leading 15th goal and 29th point of the season. With Sam Gagner covering on defence, Stewart burst down the wing, used a screen to his advantage and snapped a shot short side.

That was the game-winning goal.

"It's one of those nights you want to forget about," said Jordan Eberle.

David Perron was sent off for holding at 9:42, giving the Oilers the lone power-play of the period, but the home side failed to register a shot on goal.

St. Louis led 6-4 in shots after one. Nikolai Khabibulin got the start for the Oilers and was solid all night, posting 22 saves in the loss.

"We expected them to bring their 'A' game today and they did," said Krueger. "They're an excellent hockey club. They put a lot of pressure on us at both ends. The physicality of St. Louis is well known around the League and we had some trouble matching that today.

"The compete level right through the lineup today was not where we needed it to be."

Perron was assessed his second penalty of the game 8:21 into the second, but a bench minor for too many men charged to the Oilers negated their man-advantage 1:11 in.

Off-setting minors to Ryan Whitney (tripping) and Perron once more (diving), and a separate minor to Shawn Horcoff (hooking) later in the period kept the penalty box doors swinging, but shots and high-quality scoring chances remained scarce.

A late-period surge by Stewart, Steen and Backes forced Khabibulin to be sharp -- that he was, turning aside a total of 13 second-period shots, keeping the game within reach.

Just 2:55 into the third, the Blues made it a 2-0 game. Steen whistled a wrist shot wide and off the end boards, raced to his rebound and deposited the garbage into the empty cage behind Khabibulin.

"That really took the wind out," said Krueger. "That's unacceptable for the kind of team we want to be."

The Oilers pushed back moments after, peppering Halak with six shots in the opening 10 minutes of the third, but were unable to get one past the Slovakian goaltender.

Pushing to get on the board, Taylor Hall made a costly turnover at the offensive blue line. In transition back the other way, Andy McDonald sifted a pass to Oshie, who performed a nifty backhand deke at the doorstep to put the game out of reach with 8:52 to play.

"We were disconnected for sure," said Eberle. "It's a game where we got out-battled. There was a lot of space, we had trouble making tape-to-tape passes and trouble winning battles down low. We have to forget about it and move forward.

"We had success in our past two road games, so we've got to turn the ship around and get back to winning."

It begins on Monday as the Oilers face the Nashville Predators in the Music City.

OIL SPILLS: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has missed the past two games with an illness. Ralph Krueger said post-game that RNH had a "good day" and will travel with the team to Nashville.

-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com | Follow me on Twitter @ryandittrick

1st2nd3rdT
STL
EDM
Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:20STL Chris Stewart (15) Snap shot - ASST: Alexander Steen (15), Jaroslav Halak (1) 1 - 0 STL
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
02:55STL Alexander Steen (6) Snap shot - ASST: Roman Polak (4) 2 - 0 STL
11:09STL T.J. Oshie (6) Backhand shot - ASST: Andy McDonald (9), Patrik Berglund (5) 3 - 0 STL
Three Stars of the Game
Chris Stewart
1st
Chris Stewart
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 17:38
Alexander Steen
2nd
Alexander Steen
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 15:10
Jaroslav Halak
3rd
Jaroslav Halak
SA: 19TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 19-19
PIM: 0PP: 0-0
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Penalty Summary
1st Period
09:42STL David Perron  Holding against  Jeff Petry
2nd Period
08:21STL David Perron  Interference against  Ladislav Smid
09:32EDM Ales Hemsky  Too many men/ice - bench
12:26EDM Ryan Whitney  Hooking against  David Perron
12:26STL David Perron  Diving against  Ryan Whitney
15:08EDM Shawn Horcoff  Hooking against  Alexander Steen
3rd Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodSTLEDM
1st64
2nd138
3rd67
Total2519
Team Stats
CategorySTLEDM
Power Plays0/20/2
Hits2731
Faceoff Wins2019
Giveaways613
Takeaways86
Blocked Shots1018
Penalty Minutes66
  • ST LOUIS
  • EDMONTON
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4K. RussellD0031019:58
5B. JackmanD0000019:32
6W. ReddenD0000016:40
9J. SchwartzL0001011:05
10A. McDonaldL0110017:19
12S. NicholC000009:52
17V. SobotkaL0002015:49
20A. SteenL1125015:10
21P. BerglundC0111015:15
22K. ShattenkirkD0000020:04
25C. StewartR1023017:38
27A. PietrangeloD0001021:26
32C. PorterL000109:23
42D. BackesC0022019:05
46R. PolakD0130020:27
57D. PerronL0001615:18
74T. OshieR1013017:05
91V. TarasenkoR0004012:54
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
41J. Halak19191.00060:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2J. PetryD00-20021:19
4T. HallL00-10016:43
5L. SmidD00-20019:53
6R. WhitneyD00-10219:34
10S. HorcoffC0001216:44
13M. BrownR00-1108:29
14J. EberleR00-21017:50
15N. SchultzD0001018:47
19J. SchultzD00-11022:16
20E. BelangerC0000012:55
28R. JonesL0002011:17
37L. PetrellL0000010:13
45M. FistricD0001016:57
64N. YakupovR0000012:40
83A. HemskyR0005016:07
89S. GagnerC00-21020:16
91M. PaajarviL00-23018:43
94R. SmythL00-12013:17
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
35N. Khabibulin2225.88060:00