The St. Louis Blues have been up and down throughout their recent rough stretch, but they have shown some positive signs.
On Wednesday night, the Blues were twice able to score the tying goal in the third period but ultimately lost to the host Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime at CONSOL Energy Center.
“It’s good to come back after they get their third goal,” Alexander Steen told reporters. “To come back and tie it again shows a lot of character. The fact that we’re able to come back in these games is one of the positives — this never-quit mentality. We just keep playing. We of course like everybody else make mistakes out there, but we don’t let them bother us too much. We’re going to shrug them off and keep getting back to our game.”
The Blues (14-6-3, 31 points) have now lost five of their last eight games after starting the season 11-3-1. They have picked up points in their last two losses, however, after netting the tying goals late to get the games to overtime.
“We’ve got too much slowness in our game,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “From where we were before, we were really on attack mode and we’re way too much on our heels now. We’re constantly trying to slow the play down instead of trying to get the pace back up again. That's something we want to improve.”
The visitors led early Wednesday after a power-play goal from Paul Stastny, his second of the season, in his second game back from his foot injury. Stastny now has seven points in seven games this year.
Then the Penguins (13-8-0, 26 points) took the lead after a pair of goals from Sidney Crosby, late in the first period and midway through the second, his fourth and fifth of the season.
Blues rookie Robby Fabbri scored early in the third period to tie the game, his second goal in two games and his fourth of the season.
After Ben Lovejoy put the Penguins ahead again a few minutes later, Alex Pietrangelo tied the score late in the third with his second of the season. Pietrangelo, who had assisted on Fabbri’s goal, had his second multi-point game of the season.
“It’s not easy playing comeback hockey,” Pietrangelo told reporters. “Good character shown coming back, but we have to find a way to get up on teams early and bury them.”
Pittsburgh scored just 1:03 into the 3-on-3 overtime period when Evgeni Malkin slipped a shot past Jake Allen, who made 30 saves, for the game-winner.
“We obviously made some errors, or we wouldn’t be on the losing end of the game tonight, but there’s a lot of positives from tonight too,” Steen said.
The Blues now get a couple days off before returning to action on Saturday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-14-0, 18 points) at Scottrade Center.