(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues are now one loss away from shaving their playoff beards and putting the golf clubs in the car after dropping Game 5 to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
The 3-2 overtime loss created an emotional roller coaster for the 18,269 fans in attendance after the Blues battled back from two one-goal deficits, including a goal with 44.1 second left in regulation.
The Kings would have the final say after Slava Voynov squeaked a weak wrist shot between the legs of Brian Elliott, who stopped 22 of 25 shots.
“We got trying to score a goal,” Ken Hitchcock said. “We got caught on a play on the wall, got beat up the ice from the guy that scored the goal was below the goal line and he won the race up the ice.
“Made a mistake, gave up a little bit of an odd-man rush, but it’s not a big deal. Three-on-twos are not a big deal. I’m sure Ells would like to have that one back. That’s the way it goes in overtime.”
Voynov was able to get behind Jaden Schwartz as Anze Kopitar fed the puck his way for the deciding goal.
Although they know it’s must-win for the rest of the series, the Blues aren’t hanging their heads after outshooting the Kings 36-25.
“We have to win four games,” Alexander Steen said. “We knew that going into the series that it was going to be a tough series and now we just have to win the next game. We lost the game so now we got to move forward.”
Steen pulled his team even with Los Angeles in the second period after knocking Jake Muzzin off the puck behind the Kings net and patiently waited before sniping a wrister past Jonathan Quick. It was his third goal of the series.
The Kings were propelled by two goals from Jeff Carter in the first minute of the second and third periods. The latter gave the Kings a 2-1 lead which stood until Alex Pietrangelo scored with 44.1 seconds remaining in the game.
After dominating the late portions of the third period, the Blues allowed six shots in overtime before Voynov ended the game eight minutes in.
Despite the tough loss, Hitchcock likes his team’s chances in Game 6 if they put up a performance similar to Wednesday night.
“Collectively it was their best effort of the year,” Hitchcock said. “If we play like that again I like our chances. All we got to do is win a road game and get it back here again. I like our chances if that’s the effort and that’s the all-in attitude we have -- I really like our chances.”
The loss snaps an eight-game win streak at home for the Blues as the series travels to the Staples Center where the Kings have won nine in a row.
“With the atmosphere we have right here, it’s not quite the same in L.A,” Pietrangelo said. “I think our fans are a little bit louder, but at the same time it’s tough to fly there and play that road game in that rink.”
The Blues will need to change their recent history to survive like the Kings, who went 8-12-4 on the road during the regular season, did on Wednesday. St. Louis has lost its last six elimination games dating back to 2000.
Still, the Blues like their chances.
“This is not over,” Hitchcock added. “Somebody has to win another hockey game. If we can raise our spirits, I like our chances.”
Game 6 will start at 9 p.m. (St. Louis time) on Friday.