On paper, the Blues should have walked away with at least a point from their second matchup in four days against Edmonton. The Blues fired 38 shots at a backup goalie, were the more physical team, and successfully killed all three power plays. Despite this, the Blues came up short in a 3-1 loss.
The Blues started sluggish and gave up an early goal. Six minutes into the first period, Jesse Puljujarvi deflected a shot from Darnell Nurse to beat Jordan Binnington. While the Blues would settle into the game as it went on, so would Edmonton’s backup netminder, Stuart Skinner.
Skinner played the best game of his young career. The offense pepper the 23-year old goalie with shots including a late game flurry. However, Skinner was nearly flawless as he stopped 37 shots and ended the game with a .974 save percentage.
After the Blues leveled the score late in the 2nd period, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored at point blank range to make it 2-1. It was the 200th goal of the First Overall Pick in 2011 Draft career. That would be all the Oilers needed after St. Louis failed to convert their chances and Zach Hyman added an empty-netter with 27 seconds remaining.
Let's take a look at Nuge's 200th. ☺️ pic.twitter.com/im4paohxqt— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 27, 2022
Ultimately, there are two silver linings from this game. First, Ryan O’Reilly finally got on the scoresheet and scored his first goal on the season. With less than five seconds in the second period, the captain batted a deflected puck into the net to score on the power play. O’Reilly was previously without a point through four games.
Opposite of the power play, the penalty kill is still a strength of the Blues so far. The unit have yet to give up a goal when they have a man in the box after blanking Edmunton on their two opportunities tonight.
On many other nights, the Blues would have won this game or at least got a point from a similar effort However, the offense couldn’t finish good opportunities and the Blues ran into a goalie who played the best game of their career. There is no time for Craig Berube’s team to hang their head though. St. Louis have a short turnaround and play tomorrow at 7PM against the Nashville Predators.