Blues offer little resistance in 4-1 loss to Hurricanes
ST. LOUIS — The Carolina Hurricanes brought their dads to St. Louis on Thursday night for their annual fathers’ trip. Jeff Skinner made sure they had a happy flight home.
Skinner had a goal and an assist and the Hurricanes beat the Blues 4-1 to extend their season-high winning streak to four games.
"I think last couple of fathers’ trips I’ve been on we haven’t gotten a win," Skinner said. "It’s more fun when you get to be in a little bit of a better mood when you go home with them. It’s exciting to get a win for them. Obviously they mean a lot to the guys in here. That’s a big win for us."
The Hurricanes also got goals from Brett Pesce, Brock McGinn and Riley Nash and 23 saves from Eddie Lack. They were accompanied to St. Louis by 19 dads of players and staff.
"If you’re not going to play hard in front of your dad, when are you going to play hard?" Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "So I thought the guys did a good job of that."
Jori Lehtera scored for St. Louis, but the Blues ended a two-game winning streak. Brian Elliott made 21 saves before being replaced in the third period by Jordan Binnington, who made three saves in his NHL debut.
"We don’t have any energy, we’re running on fumes right now," said St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock, whose team has been hit with a rash of injuries. "You could see it 5 minutes into the game. We’ve got to find some energy. There’s no point in beating it down. Not taking anything away from Carolina, but we had nothing from start to finish."
Blues owner Tom Stillman and St. Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III dropped the ceremonial first puck as a show of celebration for St. Louis, after the city lost the Rams earlier this week.
Skinner scored the first goal of the game 1:49 into the second period.
Andrej Nestrasil picked off Chris Butler’s pass in the neutral zone, skated in and took a shot from the slot that Elliott stopped. The rebound bounced wide and Skinner corralled it and put it home for his second goal in two games and 17th of the season.
"I think it hit a skate or a stick and it sort of popped right to me," Skinner said. "I just had to settle it down. I’ll take those when I can get them, but it’s a good job by Nesty getting the puck to the net there."
The Hurricanes outshot the Blues 15-5 in the second period.
Carolina scored again 3:22 into the third period on a power play. Pesce’s slap shot from the left circle deflected off Blues defenseman Colton Parayko’s stick and trickled past Elliott for his fourth goal of the season.
The Hurricanes scored again at the 7:13 mark when McGinn beat Elliott with a top-shelf shot, assisted by Skinner, to make it 3-0. The Blues then pulled Elliott.
St. Louis scored 20 seconds after McGinn’s goal when Lehtera put home a rebound, assisted by rookies Joel Edmundson and Robby Fabbri.
Nash made it 4-1 with a breakaway goal with 3:39 remaining. It was his second score of the season and first in 31 games.
And it helped secure another Hurricanes win.
"It’s been a good feeling I think in the locker room," Skinner said. "Everyone likes to win. I think guys have come together over the last little while. We’ve been playing some pretty good hockey as of late. Hopefully we can keep it going."
NOTES: Elliott played in his 300th career game. … New Jersey’s Bobby Farnham was suspended four games by the NHL for his hit on St. Louis F Dmitrij Jaskin in a game on Tuesday night. … Blues C Paul Stastny returned after missing two games with a deep gash on his cheek. … The attendance or 19,282 was the Blues’ 10th sellout of the season. … St. Louis F Alexander Steen left in third period after getting hit by a teammate’s stick after the Pesce goal and did not return. Hitchcock said the team would have an update on Friday.