The St. Louis Blues went into Friday’s game against the New York Islanders looking to shake up their top lines in an effort to get more offense.
They are still looking for it.
The visiting Blues led for much of the night but fell to the Islanders 2-1 in a shootout at Barclays Center.
“We are trying to get more people to contribute offensively, but we're not there yet,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “We need more help from more people.”
The Blues (15-7-4, 34 points) earned a hard-fought point on the road, but still fell to 4-4-3 over their past 11 games. They quickly return home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs (8-13-5, 21 points) on Saturday night.
Fortunately for Hitchcock’s club, they won’t have long to dwell on their shootout loss — their first defeat when leading after the first and second periods this season.
The Islanders (15-8-4) improved to 10-2-1 against Western Conference teams this season.
“I’m really impressed with their hockey team,” Hitchcock said. “Four good lines and six strong D. They will be trouble for teams out west. We played some good hockey and still couldn't beat them right now.”
The Blues led 1-0 late in the first period after a goal from Kevin Shattenkirk, which gave him 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 13 games since returning from his lower-body injury.
Backed by a strong effort from goalie Brian Elliott, the Blues maintained that advantage until the 6:39 mark of the third period when Mikhail Grabovski tied the score with his fifth of the year.
The Blues weren’t able to get another puck past Thomas Greiss, who stopped 31 shots and both of the visitors’ attempts in the shootout.
Frans Nielson and Kyle Okposo both scored in the shootout, which sent the Blues back to St. Louis with their second straight loss.