For only the second time this season, the Blues have lost a game in regulation after leading for two periods. Of course, it came on the road; of course, it came against the Central Division; of course, it was nationally televised.
After controlling the play for the entire first period and at least being in the game in the second, the Blues ceased trying in the third. They were outshot 14-8 in the period, and even though they still led the Hawks 30-27 in SOG, it doesn’t matter when only one of those shots gets in, practically on accident. More Blues shots than Hawks shots made it to the net, too, which renders the loss even more frustrating.
The Hawks’ scored on a Duncan Keith blast that made it past Brian Elliott (great screen, Chris Stewart!) and the other was a Dave Bolland shot that hit David Backes’ skate and went in. The third, of course, was an empty net goal by Hossa that sealed the deal.
The Blues absolutely have to be able to score to put games away. Not every game is going to be against an opponent with a porous defense or a goaltender having an off night. They also need to learn how to play in their own division, and on the road. Chances are that they’ll finish in the 4th seed position, and that will more than likely mean an inter division series against either the Predators or the Blackhawks.
If the goal scorers who aren’t goal-scoring don’t wake up, it’s going to be a very long short series for St. Louis.