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Round 2

Blues regret missed opportunity after elimination by Predators

Players proud of effort but disappointed not to reach conference final for second straight season

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- For the St. Louis Blues, the somber mood in the locker room spoke volumes after a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.

The Predators advanced to the conference final for the first time in history, but the Blues feel like it was a missed opportunity to get there for the second straight season.

That was clearly evident on the face of first-year captain Alex Pietrangelo.

"You're not doing yourself any favors getting down 3-1 [in the series]," Pietrangelo said. "Doesn't take anything away about how I feel about this group. I feel proud to represent this group. We fell short but the fight was always there. We fought until the end. Sure, we could have played better in the first couple games, but never have I not been proud of this group.

"But again, one goal ... it's frustrating."

Goaltender Jake Allen agreed.

 

[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Predators series coverage]

 

"We're disappointed, obviously, in here," he said. "Close series, a hard-fought series. I just think we had such a good opportunity to go back to the Western Conference Finals again. They're tough to come by. I wish I could say every single year we're going to get to the second round and have this opportunity, but it was tough to swallow and it's going to be a tough night tonight."

The Blues were 0-3 in games at Bridgestone Arena and scored one goal in each loss. They needed to win one here after losing home ice with a 4-3 loss in Game 1, but that never materialized on the road, where the Blues were 12-1-1 in 14 games before this series.

"First off, when you're on the road, you want your power play to be more of a factor," coach Mike Yeo said after the Blues went 1-for-15 in each round. "We didn't factor in at all, no power-play goals, drew one power play tonight, so that's not enough as well. These are the things we have to look at and obviously areas we have to grow."

Video: STL Recap: Blues lose Game 6, eliminated by Predators

A number of players played through bumps and bruises, but none more than forward Alexander Steen, who played the entire postseason with a broken left foot, which was further complicated with a shot block in Game 4 on Tuesday.

"It's not just me though," Steen said. "It's everybody. There's guys in here playing with shoulders, hips, knees, feet, heels. You name it. Guys dig in here. I think we put a lot of pride in it. I think you can see it in the way they play.

"It might sound odd, but it's the fun part of it. It's the [togetherness]. As a team, you grow so close in playoffs. I think the type of season we've had and then going into the playoffs and then ... I wish everybody could see what goes on within these four walls because it's pretty special. Guys always have each other's backs. It's a pretty tight-knit group."

And with another Game 6 loss, the Blues are 0-8 in Game 6's and outscored 31-14 dating to April 21, 2001, a 2-1 win at the San Jose Sharks.

"It's tough," defenseman Colton Parayko said. "I'm speaking from emotion right now, but it was a good series. Every game was close. Jake stood on his head. I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win in a lot of those games but [we were] just on the wrong side of it."

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