Photo by: (Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)
The St. Louis Blues have now lost six out of their past eight games following a defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1.
Jeff Skinner led the way for Carolina by tallying his team-leading 17th goal as well as adding an assist.
Brian Elliott has held his own in absence of Jake Allen, but Elliott the blue line for St. Louis did not have their best showing Thursday night by being outshot 28-24. Elliott stopped 21 of 24 shots before J0rdan Binnington entered the game.
After the loss, the Blues fall to 25-15-7 and sit firmly in third place in the division. St. Louis is now five points behind the streaking Blackhawks and five points ahead of the Wild for fourth place in the Central Division.
Both teams combined for just 11 shots in the first period as the game remained scoreless after one. But, the Hurricanes had 15 shots in the second period to the Blues’ five as they capitalized on those chances.
Andrej Nestrasil entered the attacking zone and delayed as he moved to the high slot with the puck. Nestrasil took a shot that was blocked by the Blues, but it bounced right to Skinner to the left of Elliott. Skinner gathered the bouncing puck by kicking the puck to his blade before beating the outstretched pad of Elliott. The goal put Carolina in front 1-0 just 1:49 into the period.
The goals kept coming in the third for Carolina. On the power play, Victor Rask passed the puck to the point to Jaccob Slavin Slavin passed to Brett Pesce who ripped a shot on net. The puck redirected on its way to the net and beat Elliott give the ‘Canes a 2-0 lead with 16:38 left in regulation.
With under 13 minutes left in the third, 6’4″ 215 lb Robert Bortuzzo and 5’11” 200 lb Jeff Skinner went to the corner off the draw. Skinner outmuscled Bortuzzo and passed to Brock McGinn who fired a shot into the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Jori Lehtera added a goal later in the period, but it wasn’t enough as Riley Nash also added one for the Hurricanes to seal the game.
Next up for the Blues are the Montreal Canadiens who have been in a similar slump. The game is set for Saturday Jan. 16.