Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Struggle Again at Home in Losing to Senators

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Struggle Again at Home in Losing to Senators

Article excerpt

All of a sudden, home is where the heartache is for the Blues.

For the first part of the season, Scottrade Center was a dependable place for the Blues to pick up two points, but now, it seems like alien territory. The Blues lost for the fourth time in five games on their home ice that doesn't count the Winter Classic win at Busch Stadium and did it with something less than error- free hockey in a 6-4 loss to Ottawa on Tuesday night.

The loss snapped the Blues' two-game winning streak, which had somehow been achieved on the road, where the Blues had won just five of 17 games before consecutive wins in San Jose and Anaheim. Back home, where the Blues had lost just five times in 25 games before Tuesday, it wasn't as pretty.

There was a puck the goalie thought he had frozen, a puck the defense couldn't find in the crease, a turnover after the team failed maybe four times to get the puck out of its own zone, and some plain bad luck. It was the eighth straight game at Scottrade that the Blues had allowed three or more goals. Fortunately for the Blues, road games far outweigh home games the rest of the way.

Carter Hutton got his third straight start in goal and stopped 18 of 23 shots. Before the game, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said winning was the big thing now and they would stick with Hutton as long as they were winning, which means it's possible Jake Allen could be back in goal Thursday when the Blues face Washington, the league's best team, at Scottrade Center.

The Blues, who had never trailed in their two-game win streak, never led Tuesday. The Blues started the third period down 3-2 but tied the score 1:35 in on a goal by Alexander Steen. He came out of the box after he and Ottawa's Derick Brassard had served matching slashing penalties. The Blues were on a power play after Jean- Gabriel Pageau had been called for interference, and when both Steen and Brassard came out of the box, no one picked up Steen. Kevin Shattenkirk found him unattended in the circle to goalie Mike Condon's left and his one-time wrist shot tied the score.

The success was too much for the Blues. The Blues had several chances to clear the puck out of their own end and couldn't, or wouldn't, do it. …

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