Kessel Beats Halak in Shootout, Sinks Blues

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues pummeled Maple Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens with shots on Thursday night, but still lost to Toronto 3-2 in a shootout. Penalties killed the Blues early in the first, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead the Blues could not overcome.

John Michael Liles started the scoring on a shot ripped just inside the goal post, stick side on Jaroslav Halak, who would end the game with 20 saves. Phil Kessel  netted the Leaf’s second goal, leaving Toronto sitting with a comfortable 2-0 lead after the first.

The Blues got a second period power play goal from Jason Arnott to pull within one. Late in the third, after extremely heavy sustained pressure and several point-blank chances, Patrik Berglund slid a shot past Scrivens. His fourth of the year tied the game with just under two minutes left in regulation.

The game headed to overtime, in which neither team had a defined advantage. With just 14 seconds left, Scrivens took an interference penalty.  The Blues failed to capitalize on their short-lived power play, sending the game to a shootout.

The Blues sent Alex Steen, TJ Oshie, and Matt D’Agostini to the line, but Scrivens blanked all three attempts. Kessel scored on the Maple Leaf’s first attempt, earning Toronto a hard-earned two points on the road.

The Blues play three more games at home before heading back on the road. The Tampa Bay Lightning, along with former Blues captain Eric Brewer, will be in town Saturday night.  Game time is 7 p.m. CST and it will air on Fox Sports Midwest.

Blue Notes

  • Shortly after the game, prominent NHL bloggers (Bob McKenzie, Andy Strickland, and Nick Kypreos, among others), announced the Blues traded Nikita Nikitin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Kris Russell.
  • With the trade for Russel, the Blues have a surplus of defensemen. Don’t be surprised to see the Blues make another move when Kent Huskins returns from IR.
  • Ken Hitchcock is now 1-0-1 as head coach of the Blues.
  • Blues President John Davidson is in Finland scouting 2010 first round pick Vladimir Tarasenko. Expect Blues brass to visit Tarasenko several more times this season in an effort to court Tarasenko to NHL.
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