DENVER – Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrik Berglund buried the puck for the Blues, but Ryan O’Reilly killed the Blues’ chances of earning two points in Friday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Avs. O’Reilly scored the game-tying goal in regulation and the only shootout goal following overtime.
Colorado faced a tough task Friday night, going up against a Blues team that had won four straight. Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov held his own in net, stopping 35 of 37 shots to give his team a chance to win. Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 of 35, but the Blues lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods.
The Blues’ power play, which has been horrific all season, finally came through. Former Avalanche defenseman Shattenkirk wristed a powerplay goal past Varlamov in the first. Though Shattenkirk and forward Chris Stewart were shipped to St. Louis last season, this was Shattenkirk’s and Stewart’s first game played in Denver post-trade. Stewart also turned heads, setting up Berglund’s go-ahead goal in the second.
O’Reilly was a pain in the Blues’ side all night—he had a goal and assist in regulation, and scored the winning tally in the shootout. Halak was the Blues’ difference maker—he stopped a point blank shot with seconds left in regulation and he scooped a puck off the goal line with ten seconds left in overtime. Though Halak registered a loss in his record, he gave his team a chance to win. Halak played poorly to begin the season, but has picked up his play as of late.
Vladimir Sobotka returned to the Blues’ lineup after missing two games with a facial fracture. Despite wearing a full face mask, Sobotka played his pesky style of hockey. He registered five SOG and played over 18 minutes.
The Blues come home to take on the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night. The game will air at 7 p.m. CST on Fox Sports Midwest.
Odds & Ends
- The Blues have earned at least a point in 10 of 11 games since Ken Hitchcock was hired to replace Davis Payne.
- The Blues are one of seven teams that has yet to win in a shootout. The Avs improved to 4-0 in shootouts this season.
- Brian Elliott will start Friday night in St. Louis against the Chicago Blackhawks. Elliott has the best GAA and Sv % in the league, as well as a 10-1 record.
- Also playing will be David Perron, who has missed the previous 97 games due to post concussion syndrome. If he returns true to form, Perron will give the Blues’ offense (currently ranked in the lower half of the league) a MAJOR boost.
- Former Blue Erik Johnson did not play in Friday night’s game. Johnson is currently on the IR with a groin injury.
- The Blues still have five players on the IR after Perron’s return: B.J. Crombeen, Andy McDonald, Carlo Colaiacovo, Kent Huskins, and Evgeny Grachev.