-Photo by Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
After a back and forth game, the Blues lost their second game in a row and sixth out of their past seven games. The loss was also their ninth straight loss at the Honda Center against Anaheim.
In the first period, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf who currently ranks fifth in the NHL in points wasted little time adding to his total. On the power play with 13:38 left in the period Sami Vatanen took a shot from the point that took a ricochet off of Patrick Maroon’s blade in on Martin Brodeur. Brodeur kicked the rebound out front as Getzlaf sent it right back for his 13th goal of the season to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
The best opportunity for the Blues in the opening 20 minutes came from Vladamir Taresenko as he fired a shot from the slot area, but Frederick Anderson turned it aside with the glove. Anderson held the Blues scoreless through one period stopping all 12 shots in the period.
The second was a different story for St. Louis as David Backes chipped the puck in deep into the offensive zone. Alexander Steen won the battle for the puck as he twisted and put the puck in on Anderson. The rebound bounced right to Oshie who scored for his 7th of the season with 17:01 left in the second period. Oshie has now recorded a point in each of his past three games.
The goals came as bunches as this time Kyle Palmieri responded for Anaheim as Palmieri deflected Ryan Kesler’s shot past Brodeur to give the Ducks a one goal lead with 14:40 left in the second period.
Then just over a minute later, a good forecheck by Jori Lehtera allowed Paul Stastny to pick up the puck behind the goal line. Stastny found Kevin Shattenkirk coming in from the blue line, and Shattenkirk deked before scoring to tie the game up at two. Shattenkirk currently leads all Blues defenseman with 31 points.
For every answering goal there seemed to be an answer right back. With under 10 minutes left to play in the second period, Nate Thompson muscled off Barret Jackman as he passed it to Andrew Cogliano for his 5th of the season giving the Ducks a 3-2 lead with 9:49 remaining in the second period. Jackman struggled defensively and was a -3 in the game, which is his lowest total of the season.
Despite the defense allowing three goals on 16 shots defensively to this point, the St. Louis power play, which is ranked second in the NHL, helped bring the game even. Tarasenko and Shattenkirk set up in the offensive zone by the blue line as Steen scored a one-timer from Tarasenko to make it 3-3.
In the middle of the third period, Jackman lost his footing in the neutral zone as the Blues turned the puck over. In transition, Vatanen gave the quick entry pass to Matt Beleskey who went in on net in a two on one. Beleskey kept the puck himself, deked and scored his 16th of the season to give the Ducks their fourth and final lead of the game.
The Blues sent Brodeur to the bench with over a minute and half remaining giving them an extra attacker. However, the St. Louis was called for a too many men on the ice penalty as they had seven men on the ice. The mental error helped seal the victory for Anaheim.
The defeat gives St. Louis six losses in its past seven games as they fall to 22-13-3 and remain five points behind Chicago for the Central Division.
The Blues will continue its three-game road tour agains the Pacific Division against the San Jose Sharks Saturday, Jan. 3 at 9:30 p.m. CT.