ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues were 2 for 2 to open the shootout. Robin Lehner was thinking, oh no, not again.
The Ottawa Senators backup goalie shut the door the rest of the way and ended a career oh-fer in shootouts.
“Hopefully, this will break a curse,” Lehner said after Kyle Turris scored the deciding goal in the fifth round for a 5-4 Senators victory Tuesday night. “I know I can be good at it. I’ve had a few bad ones in the beginning that snowballed and got in my head.”
Lehner had been 0-6 in shootouts, allowing 12 goals on 24 shots. It was 14 goals on 26 attempts after T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen scored for St. Louis, but Lehner regrouped to stop Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk and Maxim Lapierre.
Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa also scored in the tiebreaker for Ottawa. Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak had been 4-1 in shootouts, allowing just three goals on 16 shots.
“To have the type of response we had in the third, to tie it up, to get the two points in a tough building against a very good team is huge,” Turris said. “Robbie played unreal. Stood on his head.”
Oshie had a goal and an assist in regulation for the Blues, who lost at home to an Eastern Conference opponent for the first time in 10 games this season. St. Louis had a season-high 50 shots but squandered a two-goal cushion in the third period and missed two chances to close it out in the shootout. The Blues were 0 for 7 on the power play.
St. Louis gave up a 2-1 lead in its last game at Nashville, then won in a shootout.
“We’re probably taking a step the wrong way when we’ve got the game in good hands,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re turning pretty comfortable games into track meets.”
Jason Spezza had his third three-point game of the season and capped a three-goal flurry in a span of 2:35 that gave Ottawa a 4-3 lead midway through the third. Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist to give him 53 points, best among NHL defencemen. Turris also scored a goal.
Blues defenceman Jordan Leopold tied it at 11:08 with his first of the season on an odd-angled shot that banged off Lehner.
The attendance of 14,758 was more than 4,000 shy of capacity at the Scottrade Center, the crowd held down by a snowstorm that left roadways clogged.
The Blues also set a season best with 23 shots in a two-goal second period, seemingly taking control with a 3-1 lead despite coming up empty with more than 2 minutes of a two-man advantage.
“I think there’s things we’ve got to clean up,” Oshie said. “I don’t think we’ve got to get too down on ourselves.
“The guys that made the mistakes, they know that they made them. We’ll clean them up. We’re going to be fine.”
The puck got lodged in the netting on Oshie’s goal that made it 3-2, a score that went unannounced until after Oshie pointed out the puck’s location and then the play was reviewed.
“It was still hanging there and people started shovelling the ice and I wanted to argue my case,” Oshie said. “I knew it was in.”
Ottawa beat Jaroslav Halak for three goals in a span of four shots in the third, with Milan Michalek and Turris scoring. The Senators bounced back from a 2-1 overtime loss at Pittsburgh a night earlier.
Besides scoring his first goal in 38 games with St. Louis over two seasons, Leopold also saved one in the second period. Karlsson’s shot trickled between Halak’s pads and was on the goal line and still sliding when the defenceman swatted it away.
The game began with the promise of fisticuffs from the Blues as retribution for an elbow to the head by Ottawa’s Zack Smith that was blamed for the concussion that sidelined Steen for 11 games in late December. Rugged Ryan Reaves was picked to take the opening faceoff for the Blues, presumably set to square off with Smith, but both players were whistled for minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the opening minute and both teams settled down.
Turris tied it on a pass that deflected off the skate of a Blues player at 7:02, and Spezza capitalized when the Blues failed to clear the puck out of the zone and beat Halak with a high drive that ticked off the stick of a defenceman for his 15th goal of the season and a 4-3 lead.
NOTES: The Blues had outscored Eastern Conference foes 43-13 while going 9-0 to start the season. … Leopold has six points in 22 games this season. … Ottawa D Chris Phillips (lower body) missed his fifth straight game. … Blues backup goalie Brian Elliott started for Ottawa in a 5-2 loss the last time the Senators played in St. Louis on Nov. 19, 2010.