Blues improve, still have work to do

Blues improve, still have work to do

Credit: Getty Images

Blues improve, still have work to do

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by Scott Bierman / HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on February 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM

(HockeyStL) -- Entering Saturday, the Blues and Ducks combined for a perfect record when scoring first which made it imperative to score first in the team’s first meeting this season.

A quick start by the Blues was rewarded when Alex Steen potted his first goal of the season six minutes into the game.  Despite having taken ten more shots than his closest teammate, the goal marked the first this season for Steen.

The Ducks would tie it on their first shot of the game, taken eleven minutes and nine seconds into the game.  The goal, by NHL standards, was soft.  Bobby Ryan took a harmless wrister from inside the blue line and beat Brian Elliott blocker-side which stood little purpose. 

The Blues would add two more goals by David Backes and David Perron before the end of the first period, but this week’s woes crept back into play for the team in the second period.

“I think it was just a matter of thinking that things would just all into place again,” Kevin Shattenkirk said.  “We had a great first period.  We played our game.  We were shooting the puck.  We were hitting.  We just have to stick with it and not expect it to show up out there and make it happen.”

The second period brought three Anaheim goals in a span of under two minutes.  The two goal lead became a one-goal deficit and a familiar feel at the Scottrade Center.

“We went into this game really having to shore up our ‘D’ zone coverage and our rush coverage and stuff like that -- our defensive game in general,” Ian Cole said.  “I think we did that for the most part, but then there were a couple times that we didn’t as well as we could have or has we had earlier in the game or maybe there in the third period. 

“It hurts us.  We don’t play perfect.  We don’t play the way we can every shift.  We’re beatable.  That’s what we got to figure out and I think we are figuring it out.”

The Blues would fight back in the third period to knot it up early on T.J. Oshie’s fourth goal of the season.  The Ducks would add another goal which was answered by a power play goal from Chris Stewart less than two minutes later.

But team fell for the first time when scoring first in a 6-5 shootout.

It’s a building block for the Blues as they continue to get back to their previous form.

“Could have won it in overtime, but overall these are big steps we made today,” Ken Hitchcock said.  “We really competed for 45 minutes at a very high level which is a good sign.”

The Blues will get their next chance for a victory Monday against the Kings.
 

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