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Blues 4, Hurricanes 2

Alexander Steen scores game-winner as Blues take care of Canes.

Dilip Vishwanat

The Carolina Hurricanes had their five game point streak come to an end on Saturday night as the St. Louis Blues beat them, 4-2 in front of 17,936 at Scottrade Center.

The Canes seemed out-matched in this game but held in there and kept it close until the home team scored an empty-netter with 44 seconds left to put things out of reach.

Carolina lost Alexander Semin to an "upper body injury" after a high hit by Alex Pietrangelo which knocked the winger flat on the ice in the second period.  Semin tried to come back after a trip to the dressing room, but then left the game for good.  He will be evaluated back in Raleigh.

Jay Harrison went after Pietrangelo with two minutes left in the game and was called for elbowing, which certainly did not help the Carolina come back effort.

It was another slow start for the Hurricanes as they were outshot 11-3 in a scoreless first period.  Justin Peters made several nice stops to keep his team close.

The Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on goals by Roman Polak and David Backes, but the Hurricanes scored two consecutive short-handed goals later in the second period to tie things up.

Eric Staal scored the first shortie as he broke in the Blues zone with a step on his defenders.  Nathan Gerbe scored the next one, 57 seconds later after Riley Nash stole the puck from Brian Elliott and fed him a perfect pass in front of the net.

The third period started out much like the first two, very tightly checked, but the Canes allowed the hottest scorer in the league, Alexander Steen, to waltz in their zone all alone when they failed to get the puck deep and took a slow line change.

It looked like Kirk Muller was unhappy with the defensive pairing of Tim Gleason and Harrison, who seemed a bit slow coming off the ice before the Steen goal, and he paired Harrison with Ron Hainsey after that.

Steen's goal was his 17th goal of the season, which leads the NHL.

The Canes could not generate enough offense to get any decent chances on Elliott the rest of the game and the Blues held on to maintain the best current winning percentage in the NHL.

The Hurricanes will be off on Sunday but will return to the PNC Arena Monday morning and will take on the Bruins Monday night.

Game Notes:

  • It was a tough game against a tough team but the Canes need to somehow generate more offense.  The team was unable to get much set up with the man advantage and had few good scoring chances five-on-five.  They were outshot for the game 32-20.
  • Gerbe had a team high four shots on goal.
  • Ryan Murphy was given the night off and Carolina missed him, especially on the powerplay.  Odds are that he will be back on Monday night.
  • Manny Malhotra once again had a team high face off percentage, this time 67%.  The team finished at 52%.
  • The Canes had 17 blocked shots to 10 for the Blues.  Harrison had four, while Brett Bellemore and Chris Terry had three each.
  • The Blues are a physical team and out-hit the Canes 22-13.  Tuomo Ruutu had a team best three.
  • Eric Staal had a team high 24 minutes of ice time.  Andrej Sekera was next with 23:59.   Mike Komisarek was low man with 3:28.
Canes PR has post game interviews: Canes PR