Health could prove big factor in Blues playoff survival

2:35 PM, Apr 3, 2012   |    comments
St. Louis Blues center T.J. Oshie (74) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators during the third period at the Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Predators 3-0 and set a franchise record for home wins in a season at 30 wins. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
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(KSDK Sports) -- The Blues had their complete roster healthy Saturday for the first time in 160 games, dating back to March 3, 2010. The final pieces added to the puzzle Saturday were Andy McDonald (shoulder), Matt D'Agostini (concussion) and Roman Polak (knee). That pushed Jaden Schwartz, Ryan Reaves and Carlo Colaiacovo out of the lineup. Some were wondering if the unfamiliarity with all of the new faces Saturday contributed to the lack of cohesion.

"I think some of it is bringing in new players," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "But I think it's deeper than that. We'll just have to address it and get better from it. ... I think we addressed it tonight."

Penalties Were Problem in Columbus Loss

The Blues took 12 penalties for 41 minutes in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Columbus, including nine in the third period, when their emotions got the best of them. Three straight penalties put Columbus on a 5-on-3 power play for two full minutes, and the Blue Jackets scored on the two-man advantage to go ahead 4-2.

"It seems in games like that where we get really involved physically, we seem to take the bad penalties," Blues forward Andy McDonald said. "Obviously if we want to be a good team, we can't play like that. That's what the playoffs are going to be like ... it's going to be a little chaotic at times and we have to find a way to tailor that emotion. We got really worked up about the officiating and we weren't able to reign it in. It spun out of control and it cost us the game."

Backes Scores 24th
Center David Backes scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Columbus. Backes had six of the Blues' 36 shots in the game, but even with that much offense, the team couldn't beat Columbus rookie G Allen York.

Right Wing David Perron has proved to have good chemistry with linemates Andy McDonald and Patrik Berglund. But on Saturday, Perron's 19th goal of the season and seventh in 11 games came easily. He somehow sneaked a puck short-side on Blue Jackets G Allen York.

Goalie Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves, but lost for the first time in 11 games (10-0 previously) at Scottrade Center and for the first time in regulation since Nov. 22. The Blues gave up five goals to the opposition for the first time in 53 games and only the third time all season.


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