Entering the game just one point behind the Flames for twelfth place in the Western Conference standings, the Blues dropped their fourth game in a row, which was also their tenth loss in 12 games.
Ty Conklin went between the pipes for the Blues, since Jaroslav Halak was lit up in Colorado Monday night. Tonight was not much better for the Blues’ back-up. He made 16 saves on 19 shots, while his counterpart, Miikka Kiprusoff, made 28 saves on 29 shots, including a dazzling stop on Alex Steen mid-way through the third period on the breakaway.
After a few chances early, the Flames scored the first goal… technically. While on the power-play, David Moss took a shot from the right wing boards and Conklin kicked the puck to the middle. Erik Johnson was there for the rebound, but inadvertently fired the puck into his own net. Moss’ 11th goal of the season gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at 5:34 of the first period.
The power-play chances just kept coming for Calgary.Early in the second period, Moss added his second power-play goal of the game when he went untouched in front of the net and batted down teammate Anton Babchuck’s shot from the point. The goal came at 1:29 of the second period and put the Blues down 2-0.
The Blues’ woes just continued from there. After some offensive zone pressure by the Blues, the Flames took advantage of a pinching-defense. Calgary defenseman Adam Pardy found himself on a breakaway, something that is as rare to him as the Blues hitting the net with a shot. He skated in and shot the puck point-blank, eluding Conklin for his first goal of the season at 18:38 of the second period. David Moss received an assist on the goal for his third point of the game.
After facing some tough Calgary defense, the Blues finally had an answer. Center Jay McClement drove the puck to the net, forcing a rebound. The Blues’ best player on the ice, Philip McRae, was there to poke in his first NHL goal and to cut the Flames’ lead to 3-1 at 7:49 of the third period.
But the game was all but over at that point. Jarome Iginla added an empty-net goal with just .43 seconds left.
The real downfall for the Blues was their penalty-killing. The Flames were 2-3 on the power-play, scoring at key times to keep the Blues out of it. The Blues were 0-1 on the power-play.
With the loss, the Blues drop to 14th place in the West (losing a tie-breaker to the Columbus Blue Jackets for 13th), but more importantly fall three points behind the Flames. The Blues go into the All-Star break with a 22-20-7 record, racking up 51 points.
The Blues will resume play Tuesday, February 1 when they host the Colorado Avalanche at Scottrade Center at 7:00 pm.
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