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game recap

Blues top Oilers 5-2 to grab top spot in Central

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Blues top Oilers 5-2 to grab top spot in Central
St. Louis Blues 5, Edmonton Oilers 2
Three Stars of the Game
Andy McDonald
1st
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 21:25
Kevin Shattenkirk
2nd
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 21:26
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -2TOI: 16:42
The St. Louis Blues are doing their best to prove they're a full member of the NHL's elite.

The Blues moved past Detroit into first place in the Central Division with a 5-2 win in Edmonton on Wednesday night. Andy McDonald scored twice and Kevin Shattenkirk had a goal and two assists to give the Blues 87 points in 64 games -- the Wings have the same total but St. Louis owns one more non-shootout win.

St. Louis (40-17-7) improved to 4-0-0 on a road trip that takes the Blues to Vancouver on Thursday -- and a regulation win will move them past the Canucks into the top spot in the overall standings.

"We have four wins on the road on this trip already which is pretty good," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after his team's 10th win in 13 games. "We're in the bonus round. We play our best hockey when we are a bit scared and I think we will be a little bit for that game."

Scott Nichol scored in the second period and Chris Stewart connected on a third-period penalty shot to back a 22-save performance by Jaroslav Halak, who joined teammate Brian Elliott as a 20-game winner. It's the first time in franchise history the Blues have had two goalies win 20 games in the same season.

The road winning streak is their longest since February 2009.

"You have to be able to win on the road to be successful," McDonald said after the Blues improved to 14-13-3 in away games -- they're a dominating 26-4-4 at Scottrade Center. "We know it is going to be tough every night and that we have to play a certain way, and on this road trip especially we have stuck to that style.

"It's really paid off for us. Things are going well for us."

The Oilers trailed 3-0 in the second period after McDonald's second goal, but after Yann Danis replaced Devan Dubnyk in goal, Edmonton (25-32-6) rallied on goals by Corey Potter and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to make it a one-goal game entering the third period.

That wasn't enough against a team that makes as few mistakes as the Blues.

"They're a team that played the game the right way," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "One thing they won't do is beat themselves, much like we did."

The Blues took advantage of an early mistake to get on the board just 59 seconds into the game. Defenseman Cam Barker got caught pinching, allowing McDonald to race down the right side and beat Dubnyk for a quick lead.

Halak kept it a 1-0 game by denying Taylor Hall's partial breakaway with eight minutes left in the period.

The Blues went up 2-0 at 2:05 of the second period when Nichol raced into the right circle unimpeded and picked the far low corner, just inside the post. Dubnyk's evening ended at 7:34 after a bad line change let T.J. Oshie feed an onrushing McDonald, who deked and scored his second of the game.

"We stood around and watched St Louis play a little bit, showed them a little too much respect," Renney said.

Danis' entrance appeared to rejuvenate the Oilers. Just over a minute later, Potter stepped into a slapper from the right point and beat a screened Halak to make it 3-1. The Oilers were able to kill a five-minute boarding major to Ryan Smyth and made it 3-2 with 48 seconds left in the period when Hall outraced the defense to a dump-in and slid a pass to Nugent-Hopkins, who banged it inside the right post for his 15th goal to make it 3-2.

But the Blues regrouped at intermission.

"We had a little meeting after the second period and were able to come back and take it over again," Hitchcock said. "We are still a young team that can learn some lessons. The way we played except for five minutes in the second period was terrific and the way we played in the third was excellent.

"We put the foot on the gas again in the third period."

Danis did not face a shot in the more than 12 minutes he was in net in the second period. But the Blues beat him at 3:28 of the third when Shattenkirk deflected home a perfect pass by Alex Pietrangelo for a 4-2 lead. Stewart scored his 14th of the season when he beat Danis on a penalty shot at 7:34 after he was hooked by Hall on a breakaway.

"There were stretches where we played really well, we had a great kill on the (Ryan Smyth) major and it was 3-2," defenseman Ryan Whitney said. "But when you play a team that good you have to play 60 minutes.”

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
scoring summary
1st Period
00:59
STL
Andy McDonald (4) ASST: T.J. Oshie (28), David Backes (26)
1 - 0 STL
2nd Period
02:05
STL
Scott Nichol (3) ASST: David Perron (18), Kevin Shattenkirk (22)
2 - 0 STL
07:34
STL
Andy McDonald (5) ASST: T.J. Oshie (29), Kevin Shattenkirk (23)
3 - 0 STL
08:48
EDM
Corey Potter (4) ASST: Darcy Hordichuk (2)
3 - 1 STL
19:12
EDM
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (15) ASST: Taylor Hall (26), Nick Schultz (3)
3 - 2 STL
3rd Period
03:28
STL
PPG - Kevin Shattenkirk (8) ASST: Alex Pietrangelo (26), Jason Arnott (15)
4 - 2 STL
07:54
STL
PS - Chris Stewart (14) ASST: NONE
5 - 2 STL
penalty summary
1st Period
14:48
STL
Ryan Reaves  Fighting (maj) against  Darcy Hordichuk
14:48
EDM
Darcy Hordichuk  Fighting (maj) against  Ryan Reaves
2nd Period
03:14
EDM
Sam Gagner  Slashing against  David Backes
09:06
STL
Ryan Reaves  Holding against  Lennart Petrell
13:24
EDM
Ryan Smyth  Game misconduct
13:24
EDM
Ryan Smyth  Checking from behind (maj) against  Roman Polak
19:52
EDM
Ben Eager  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Barret Jackman
19:52
STL
Barret Jackman  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Ben Eager
3rd Period
02:25
EDM
Cam Barker  Slashing against  Vladimir Sobotka
14:43
EDM
Corey Potter  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
goalie stats
Jaroslav Halak
SA: 24TOI: 60:00
Saves: 22EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .917SH: 2 - 2
Yann Danis
SA: 12TOI: 32:26
Saves: 10EV: 6 - 7
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .833SH: 0 - 0
Devan Dubnyk
SA: 19TOI: 27:34
Saves: 16EV: 14 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .842SH: 0 - 0