Blues Squander Opportunity at Home – Series Tied at 2

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ST. LOUIS — The Blues had a chance to come out and pretty much bury the Dallas Stars in game 4 on Thursday night.  Instead, they failed to take advantage of opportunities and allowed Dallas to sneak out of town with a 3-2 overtime win.  Cody Eakin snapped a shot over the shoulder of Brian Elliott just 2:58 into the extra period to turn this into a three-game series, when it should have been a three-game lead for St. Louis.

The Blues had Dallas reeling in the first period and after yet another neutral zone breakdown by Dallas, it led to a breakaway for Vladimir Tarasenko who scored five-hole at 10:17 to put the Blues up 1-0.  Kari Lehtonen stopped Troy Brouwer who found himself alone in front of the net a minute later, and Tarasenko hit the post with 3:20 remaining on a breakaway.  That kept the game at 1-0.

Then we saw the ugly Blues rear their head again.  The same Blues that broke hearts the last three years in the first round.  While the players are being supportive, rookie defenseman Joel Edmundson handed the Stars their first goal, but worse than that was David Backes taking a bad penalty moments later as Patrick Sharp scored his first goal of the series at 5:14, the Stars’ first power-play goal of the series in 13 attempts.  Just like that the momentum swung in favor of the Stars.  Paul Stastny answered with a power play goal for the Blues to tie the game, but the Blues had their shot early and lost their edge.

“We didn’t bury them when we had the chance,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We let them off the mat with those two quick goals. I thought in the third period we were a little bit inconsistent with our puck management, but had all the chances at the start and didn’t extend the 1-0 lead.”

Game five is Saturday at 12 noon CT from Dallas.

(Bill Pollock, Missourinet)

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