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Blues stumble to 6-4 loss to Golden Knights

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

EDMONTON, Alberta -- It had to happen sometime, and Thursday was that night. The Blues lost in regulation for the first time ever to the Vegas Golden Knights, dropping a 6-4 decision at Rogers Place in their second game of round-robin play.

At 0-2 in the round-robin, the Blues can finish only third or fourth in the Western Conference seedings for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The will get the third seed if they defeat Dallas in Sunday's round-robin finale, and the fourth seed if they lose to the Stars.

Vegas and Colorado, both 2-0 in round-robin play, play each other on Saturday, with the winner getting the top seed and the loser getting the No. 2 seed.

The Blues had been 5-0-4 against Vegas since the Golden Knights came into the league as an expansion team in 2017, but had lost the previous two games in overtime.

After a wild-and-woolly second period, the Blues headed into the dressing room with a 4-3 lead Thursday. But Vegas got goals from Zach Whitecloud, Mark Stone and Shea Theodore (his second of the game) that allowed the Knights to regain the lead in the third period.

Colton Parayko's goal from in tight gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead just 1:45 into the second period. But Vegas -- as it usually does lately against St. Louis -- rallied to score the game's next three goals to take a 3-2 lead.

But before you can say "Towel Man" -- and there was video of him doing his thing (under a ceiling fan) after each Blues goal -- St. Louis regained the lead on scores by Parayko and Troy Brouwer just 21 seconds apart.

The first period against the Vegas on Thursday looked very much like the first period Sunday against Colorado.

 

Once again the Blues took a 1-0 lead after one period, once again on a David Perron goal. And once again the Blues were outshot by a lopsided amount -- 13-5. (It was 16-4 after one period against the Avalanche.)

But Jordan Binnington faced, and turned aside, much tougher chances in the opening 20 minutes, including a pair of 2-on-1 rushes by Vegas, a wraparound attempt by Nate Schmidt, and a mad scramble in front of the St. Louis net in which Robert Bortuzzo grabbed the puck with his glove in the crease. Which normally results in a penalty shot.

Perron's goal came just four minutes into the game, when he beat Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot from the slot.

The Blues had a different looking lineup, with Vladimir Tarasenko, Robert Thomas and Carl Gunnarsson all out of the lineup, as well as Ivan Barbashev -- back in St. Louis for the birth of his first child. They were replaced by Brouwer, Bortuzzo, Jordan Kyrou and MacKenzie MacEachern.

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