ST. LOUIS - The Carolina Hurricanes suffered a 6-3 setback to the St. Louis Blues in the first match of a four-game road swing.
Sebastian Aho, Brock McGinn and Martin Necas tallied goals for the Canes, but a four-goal second period helped the Blues extend their point streak at home to 11 games (10-0-1).
Here are five takeaways from St. Louis.
1. More Desperation Needed
The St. Louis Blues, the top team in the Western Conference, jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 2:44 into the game and stretched their lead to three goals early in the second period.
Despite Aho scoring his 27th goal of the season to cut the deficit to two goals, the Hurricanes never could quite muster the push back needed to fully get back into the game before getting buried again.
"There were a lot of things that didn't go right. It starts with our desperation and work ethic," Jordan Staal said. "I've got to find more and everyone else in the room has to if we're going to push."
"There were a lot of things missing. PP, we didn't execute. PK, it was too easy for them. Tap-ins, back-door," Sebastian Aho sighed. "This time of year in the place we are, we should have a higher desperation level. It's not like guys are not trying or not working. It's a little something extra we need right now."
Desperation, or the need for more, was the theme of postgame remarks from the Canes' locker room.
"We've got to be better with the desperation on each guy," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We really had to buckle down tonight, and it didn't happen."
2. Buried in the Second
Only 87 seconds into the second period, Zach Sanford wrapped the puck around the net and tucked it just beyond the goal line to put the Blues up, 2-0. About three minutes later, Colton Parayko let go of a one-time rocket to make it 3-0.
Aho gave the Canes some life with his 27th of the season 75 seconds later, but Brayden Schenn tallied two consecutive power-play goals for St. Louis to make it a 5-1 game just past the midway point of the period.
Video: CAR@STL: Aho buries gorgeous pass from Foegele
The Canes netted a pair of goals in the third period, but by then, "the game was irrelevant at that point," as Brind'Amour said.
The second period - the Canes going 0-for-2 on the penalty kill and also not able to take advantage of their first two power play opportunities - was the difference.
"Just not enough desperation in that second period for me. We're in that mode where we've got to have it. It wasn't there in the second period, that's for sure," Brind'Amour said. "We didn't kill penalties right, and our power play wasn't good. The momentum just kind of went stale at that point."
3. Aho, McGinn and Necas Tally
Sebastian Aho's 27th goal of the season came off a nice feed from Warren Foegele in the second period. The goal was Aho's third in as many games. The Finnish forward now has points (3g, 2a) in four straight games.
Video: CAR@STL: McGinn tips puck off his shin pad
In the third period, facing a 6-1 deficit, the Canes found the back of the net a couple times to improve the appearance of the box score. Jordan Staal threw a puck to the net that deflected in off Brock McGinn. Four minutes later, Martin Necas scored a power-play goal on a one-timer from the top of the left circle.
Video: CAR@STL: Necas buries PPG off defender in front
4. Edmundson Gets His Ring
Joel Edmundson knew it was going to be an emotional night. For the first time since being dealt in late September, he was returning to the city he helped bring a championship to nearly eight months ago while playing for the team that drafted him nearly nine years ago.
"I just try to look at this as another game," he said earlier in the day. "It will probably go by as a blur, but I'll try to savor every moment of it."
Making his first return visit even more special: He would be receiving his Stanley Cup championship ring in a pregame ceremony, and his parents, Bob and Louis, were in attendance to see it.
Video: CAR@STL: Edmundson receives his Stanley Cup ring
Following a tribute that played on the video board in the arena, Edmundson, clapping in appreciation, skated over to receive his ring. Edmundson slipped the ring on and raised his fit, and the crowd in St. Louis roared with delight. It was a short, sweet, special moment for a player who was clearly beloved by his teammates and city.
5. Martinook Misses the Third
Jordan Martinook took just three shifts in the second period and totaled 5:02 of ice time through the first 40 minutes of regulation before being held out of the third period with an upper-body injury.
"Something happened to him in his back, so I don't know yet," Brind'Amour said.
The Hurricanes head to Arizona to take on the Coyotes on Thursday.
"Everyone has a job to do, a role to take pride in that," Staal said. "Myself all the way down the lineup has to be a little better, and we'll find a way to win some games."