EDMONTON – The St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers are now even in the home-game humiliation department.
Less than two weeks after the Oilers engineered a comeback from down 3-0 to win 5-3 in St. Louis, the Blues came into Edmonton and left the Oilers red-faced. Alexander Steen had a goal and three assists and Andy McDonald scored twice as the Blues won their second game in as many nights, blowing out the Oilers 7-2 on Monday.
“We were disappointed with what happened to us in St. Louis, so it was nice to get back at them a bit,” McDonald said. “We’ve been struggling to play consistently and it feels like it is starting to turn for us a little bit now.”
Blues head coach Andy Murray said the two meetings between the teams were like night and day.
“The last time we played them they had won four in a row and were determined to win their fifth in a row on the road,” he said. “We ran into a hornet’s nest and didn’t really handle it very well. They deserved to beat us there. But here I felt our team was really ready to go. It was significant to beat them like this after that last game.”
David Perron, Brad Boyes, Patrik Berglund and Jay McClement also scored for the Blues (16-14-5) who moved out of the Western Conference cellar with their win in Vancouver on Sunday and gained further ground on Monday.
The Blues, who entered the game with the league’s 29th-ranked power play, scored four goals with the man advantage.
“It was nice to get some goals there,” Steen said. “We’ve been struggling but working extremely hard to get that going. It was nice to see a few pucks go in.”
Last place in the West belongs solely to the Oilers (15-17-4), losers of all four games on their homestand with a home record of 8-9-2.
“We haven’t had a loss that bad in a long while,” said defenceman Tom Gilbert. “Tonight was pretty sloppy.”
Sam Gagner and Dustin Penner scored for Edmonton.
Oilers head coach Pat Quinn had trouble explaining why his team is dredging the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
“We started OK, but then we missed some plays in front of the net and lost some of our spirit,” he said. “It is a discouraging part of our game to miss so much down low like that. That’s clearly the scouting report other teams come in with, to play us down there, because we don’t seem to be able to sustain our positions. We’re not an assertive team in one-on-one situations. We want to chase pucks a lot of times.
“That’s what little kids do. They follow the puck with their eyes and with their bodies.”
Quinn was careful not to pin too much of the loss on goalie Devan Dubnyk, making his first career NHL start.
“He’ll remember this game for a long while. I’m sure,” he said. “He was kind of left out to hang by his teammates. We’ve been doing that all season.”
St. Louis started the scoring seven minutes into the first period as both Ladislav Smid and Lubomir Visnovsky went behind the Edmonton net to go after Patrik Berglund, leaving Perron all alone in front to take the feed and smack it past Dubnyk.
Edmonton evened it up less than three minutes later as Andrew Cogliano picked off a pass by Carlo Colaiacovo at the Oiler blue-line and took off to get a shot on St. Louis starter Chris Mason, with Gagner following up to tap in the rebound.
Edmonton out-shot the Blues 11-5 in the opening frame.
The Blues regained the lead three minutes into the second as the Oilers were guilty of getting lazy down low, allowing McDonald an easy rebound goal for his eighth of the season.
Edmonton tied it up again two minutes later as Penner took an low-percentage shot from a bad angle that seemed to surprise Mason and go off his pads and in. It was Penner’s 19th goal, making it 2-2.
The Blues once again went ahead on about as big a gift goal as you can get. Boyes sent a pass into the crease area on the power play and it was whacked into the net with what looked like some authority by Smid as he attempted to bat it out of the way.
The goal seemed to rattle the Oilers, who went down 5-2 just a couple minutes later on goals 39 seconds apart.
The first of the quick goals came once again on the power play as a Paul Kariya point shot hit Berglund on the way to the net, and it was a three-goal lead shortly thereafter as McClement was allowed to walk in untouched and beat Dubnyk high to the glove side.
St. Louis made it a four-goal game early in the third period with their third power-play marker of the game, passing it around effectively before McDonald beat Dubnyk on the short side for his second of the contest.
Steen scored the Blues’ fourth power-play goal of the night with four minutes remaining.
Both teams play again on Wednesday as the Oilers head to Minnesota and the Blues play the third game of a four-game trip in Calgary.
NOTES: It was the second of four meetings between the two teams with Edmonton winning the first game earlier in the month when they came back from a 3-0 deficit in St. Louis to win 5-3. Edmonton has not won since. . . Dubnyk replaced Jeff Deslauriers in the Edmonton net for the game. Deslauriers had started the previous 14 contests with usual starter Nikolai Khabibulin sidelined indefinitely with a back injury. . . It was the third consecutive game the Oilers had faced a team that played Vancouver the night before. . . St. Louis is now 5-0-1 on the second game of a road trip. . . Cogliano played in his 200th NHL game. The first round pick in the 2005 draft has 93 points in his first 200 games. . . Blues assistant captain Keith Tkachuk tied Frank Mahovlich for 30th on the NHL all-time goals list with his 533rd career tally on Sunday night. Next up in 29th is Stan Mikita with 541 career goals.