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Blues fall short in shootout loss to Senators

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues provided those who braved the elements on a snowy night Tuesday with plenty of offense.

But in the end, Kyle Turris scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Ottawa Senators a come-from-behind 5-4 victory at Scottrade Center. Turris beat Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak with a wrist shot after Maxim Lapierre fired wide against Senators goalie Robin Lehner.

Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa also scored shootout goals for Ottawa, which won for only the fifth time in 24 games after trailing after two periods

"This was huge, very emotional," Turris said. "A very physical game. To have the type of response we had in the third, to tie it up, to get the two points in a tough building against a very good team is huge."

Senators coach Paul MacLean agreed.

"I thought it was a great effort by our team," he said. "We were competitive and ended up coming up with a well-earned victory."

Jason Spezza had a goal and two assists for the Senators (25-21-11), who played their third game in four nights. Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist, Zibanejad had two assists and Milan Michalek and Turris each scored.

"It's a big win for us," said Spezza, who has 10 points in eight games. "We haven't picked up any points in the last couple [games]. We're at that stage of the year where you've got to keep moving up in the standings. A big two points in this rink where it is tough to get them."

Lehner stopped 46 shots in the victory and won his first shootout of the season in four tries. Lehner had been 0-6 for his career in shootouts.

"Finally I got a win in a shootout," Lehner said. "I still let in two goals, hopefully this will break and curse. I know I can be good at it.

"We battled through it as a unit and we got her done. We played a good road game."

The Blues received shootout goals from T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen, but could not score on their final three opportunities.

Oshie finished with a goal and an assist, Jaden Schwartz had two assists and Halak stopped 27 shots for St. Louis. Brenden Morrow, David Backes and Jordan Leopold also scored for the Blues (37-12-6). It was their first loss to an Eastern Conference foe on home ice this season (9-0-1).

"It was a strange game at points, but sitting here, we're frustrated," Morrow said. "We felt like we let a game slip from us. That's a big point."

Down 3-1, the Senators scored three times in a 2:35 span in the third period to grab a 4-3 lead. Michalek scored at 5:52, Turris at 7:02 and Spezza at 8:27 off a lot of loose coverage by the Blues, who entered Tuesday with a 25-0-3 record when leading after two periods. The Senators scored their three goals on four shots.

"To get those goals in the third obviously it was something that was unexpected but we just kept plugging along," Spezza said. "We made some stuff happen."

Michalek scored off a 3-on-2 rush that got the Senators Then Turris banked a shot in off a Blues player's skate to tie it, and a failed clearing attempt resulted in Spezza's shot from the top of the left circle deflecting off Jay Bouwmeester's stick to put Ottawa ahead and shock not only the Blues, but the 14,758 that braved a snowstorm to see the game.

"I think it's a characteristic of what's going on right now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're probably taking a step the wrong way when we've got the game in good hands and we're kind if turning pretty controllable games into track meets.

"The second goal was the one that hurt us a lot. We're on the wrong side of the puck in the neutral zone and had full control of the hockey game. It was just winding down and that gave them the life and then the fluke third goal and the fourth goal was poor."

Leopold scored his first goal as a member of the Blues and first in 38 games when his shot from below the goal line caromed in off Lehner at 11:08 of the third to tie the game 4-4. Leopold's last goal came March 26, 2013, against the Tampa Bay Lightning as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

After Karlsson tied the game 1-1 off a Spezza feed with 5:10 left in the second period, Magnus Paajarvi's backhand feed was stopped by Lehner, but Oshie popped in from the opposite side and blasted a one-timer that got lodged into the top half of the netting on top of the crossbar 19 seconds later.

During a television timeout, Oshie went straight to the goal and pointed to the top half of the goal for referees Mike Hasenfratz and Marc Joannette to see. Initially, it was thought the puck went into the crowd. What was supposed to be a faceoff in the Senators zone turned into a video review, confirming Oshie's shot a goal.

"He was still hanging down there and people started shoveling the ice," Oshie said. "I wanted to argue my case. Fortunately he listened."

Backes would give the Blues a 3-1 lead with 4.7 seconds remaining in the period on the Blues' 23rd shot of the period, which was a season high for shots in a period.

The Senators gained momentum when they got the Karlsson goal after killing off a set of penalties that led to them being down two men a total of 2:10. The Blues fired nine shots during the man advantage, but could not beat Lehner.

Morrow extended his point-streak against the Senators to seven games (three goals, seven assists) and deposited the puck into the net for a 1-0 Blues lead with 5:52 left in the first period.

Halak stood tall and stopped all 13 shots he faced in the first, including a one-timer from Michalek in the slot with 43 seconds left.

The Blues had 55.8 seconds of power play time to end overtime when Clarke MacArthur hooked Oshie after he intercepted a Karlsson pass and headed off on a breakaway. They finished 0-for-7 with the man advantage despite finishing with a season-high 50 shots on goal.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a chance in the third round to end it for the Blues, but Lehner kept it alive. Da Costa beat Halak with a backhander that prolonged the game, and Turris won it two rounds later.

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