Puck luck did not favor the Blues Tuesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Sharks at Scottrade Center.
San Jose had built a 3-1 lead during the second period, but in the waning moments of the frame, St. Louis got a clutch goal from Vladimir Tarasenko to close the gap. With the third period yet to go, they still needed one more to even the score.
Much of the period was quiet, but as time winded down, the Blues had as good of a scoring chance as you’ll ever see—but it didn’t go their way.
Kyle Brodziak and Scottie Upshall converged on the puck in a scrum in front of the San Jose net, with Upshall contributing to pop it into the air, floating it toward the goal line. With goaltender Martin Jones at the top of his crease, the puck hit the post and danced along the line, until Brent Burns gave it a game-saving whack out of the crease.
The moment was yet another example in recent games of the Blues finding any way possible not to score.
“We had chances, we just didn’t score,” Alex Pietrangelo said. “We gotta find a way to put the puck in the back of the net."
St. Louis has now lost four straight games by a single goal, putting themselves in a precarious position near the cut line for the Western Conference Playoffs.
“We’ve just got to be harder around the net,” Pietrangelo continued. “We’ve got to find a way to get pucks there as (defensemen) and forwards gotta find a way to put the puck home. They scored a couple goals like that tonight, we’ve got to find a way to do that.”
After the hair-raising play that, for a moment, caused the home crowd to believe their team had just evened the tally late in the third, the Blues failed to find another comparable scoring chance. Still, Mike Yeo doesn’t feel the emotions of the near-miss led to any sort of letdown down the stretch.
At least, he hopes it didn’t.
“I don’t think so,” Yeo said. “We dug ourselves a hole, that’s a good defensive team. We didn’t generate much after that, but that certainly shouldn’t be a letdown.”