Blues return home hoping to get back on track against Blue Jackets
ST. LOUIS -- The Blues are hoping home is where the heart is, or at least where a strong third period is.
St. Louis begins a seven-game home stand as it hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. The Blues come back to Enterprise Center ice after ending a three-game road trip with a thud by surrendering a third period lead and eventually losing in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.
"We won the first period, we won the second period, and we lost the third period badly," Blues head coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com. "We lost the hockey game. We just didn't finish it off."
It's a familiar synopsis so far this season as the Blues blew a lead in the third period for the third time this season, a big reason why they stumble into the matchup with the Blue Jackets with a 2-3-3 record.
Blues goalie Jake Allen said the team needs to change its mentality.
"I think we're scared to lose games right now," Allen told NHL.com. "We're behind in the standings, we know that. We know that each point's crucial, and we're playing in the third period like we're scared to lose a game."
St. Louis made a couple of roster moves, sending forwards Sammy Blais and Robby Fabbri to its AHL affiliate in San Antonio.
Blais played in eight games this season for the Blues. Fabbri was sent out on a conditioning assignment as he attempts to return from a groin injury suffered during the preseason.
St. Louis won both meetings against Columbus last season, and the Blue Jackets enter the contest after back-to-back 4-1 losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes.
Against Arizona on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets scored 31 seconds into the game but were outplayed the rest of the way.
"The plays are there to be made, we're not making them," left winger Nick Foligno told NHL.com. "We're just missing a guy's stick by an inch or we're not making the plays fast enough. We're cycling when we should be passing, passing when we should be cycling.
"We're out of sync like that. I don't know what it is."
Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was not happy with his team's response against the Coyotes.
"The alarming thing to me about tonight's game is when (Arizona) realized they had a chance to win this one, they go up 3-1, they checked," Tortorella told NHL.com. "They checked hard and we didn't have an answer for that. That's the thing that bothered me the most about tonight's game, our willingness to get through checking.
"We have some work to do. We need to get a little fight in our game. That helps people have success, not wait for success to come to you. You've got to have a little determination in your game to have success. Good things will happen that way."
On a bright note, defenseman Seth Jones logged 27:24 of ice time in his season debut after recovering from a MCL sprain.
"I thought I made some good offensive plays, some good defensive plays," Jones told NHL.com. "I don't know how much I played but I felt pretty good out there."