ANAHEIM, Calif. – The St. Louis Blues finally found the offence they left behind in Europe.
Andy McDonald had two goals and an assist, and the Blues ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. Ty Conklin made 26 saves to earn his first shutout of the season and the 11th of his NHL career, and the Blues’ power play got back in gear.
After consecutive wins over Detroit in Sweden two weeks ago, the Blues had lost three straight back in North America, going 0 for 10 with a man advantage during that stretch.
St. Louis quickly reversed the trend against the Ducks. Patrick Berglund and Carlo Colaiacovo scored power-play goals for a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
McDonald kept things clicking, scoring two even-strength goals – his first points since Sweden – and T.J. Oshie added his first of the season and first point since returning to North America.
“The last few games our power play hasn’t been great,” McDonald said. “We weren’t moving the puck around very well. It was an area of concern. Tonight it was a lot better.”
McDonald had travelled to London for a pair of early-season games while playing for Anaheim two years ago. The Ducks also dropped their first three games that year after the European start.
“We struggled that year and we struggled this year, for whatever reason,” said McDonald, traded to St. Louis in December 2007. “We were working, but we just weren’t executing.”
Brad Boyes and Erik Johnson each had two assists for the Blues, who were also helped by a 5-for-5 effort shutting down the Ducks’ power play. St. Louis had given up power-play goals in each of its first five games.
“It just came down to everyone bearing down and getting the job done,” Oshie said. “We haven’t been giving that little bit of extra effort to get the job done. I think that’s what we did tonight.”
Conklin had to make a sharp right pad save against Ducks forward Corey Perry to keep Anaheim off the scoreboard during three power-play chances in the first.
“We had those power plays early that we didn’t capitalize on, from there they took the game over,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. “We didn’t really have an answer, we weren’t mentally strong to push through things.”
Anaheim entered the game with wins in three of four games. Starting goalie Jonas Hiller had won his past three starts, but he was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Giguere after yielding three goals on 11 shots. Giguere made 21 saves.
Berglund slammed a rebound of a point shot by Oshie past Hiller, giving St. Louis a 1-0 lead just 4:25 in. Colaiacovo sent a wrist shot from the point past Hiller during another power play 2:35 into the second.
Just 2:37 later, McDonald fired in a behind-the-net feed from Johnson to make it 3-0.
“We didn’t have a decent start to the hockey game,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “It seemed our frustrations from the lack of offensive production on the power play took us out of the game.”
The Ducks had a chance to get back in the contest when Darryl Sydor was issued a four-minute, high-sticking penalty for clipping George Parros, but the extended advantage was cut short by a hooking call on Bobby Ryan.
McDonald scored his second goal, whisking in a wrist shot from the right circle off a feed from Boyes, 23 seconds into the third.
NOTES: The Chicago Blackhawks claimed C Andrew Ebett off waivers from Anaheim. … RW Cam Janssen went into the St. Louis lineup, replacing C Alex Steen who will be out 6-to-8 weeks because of a broken right wrist.