Paul Stastny scores winner in Blues' 2-1 victory over Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The St. Louis Blues didn't get the easy ride they might have hoped for against the Oilers, but they did get out of Edmonton with the two points they needed.
Paul Stastny scored the winning goal with 5:40 left and added an assist as the Blues edged the host Oilers 2-1 on Saturday night.
''We made it a little harder on ourselves than it needed to be, but in this league, anyone can win on any night,'' St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott said. ''It was an unbelievable goal by (Stastny) to kind of seal it, and a couple of blocked shots at the end, guys were doing the things at the end to make us successful.''
Dmitrij Jaskin also scored for the Blues (40-18-4), who have won two in a row.
''From the 10-minute mark of the second period we really started to amp it up and started to play very well,'' Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. ''I'm concerned about our slow starts.
''We don't look like we get to our game near soon enough and we're going to get challenged in the next three or four hockey games and we're going to have to find a way to get into our game a little bit earlier.''
Justin Schultz had the lone goal for the Oilers (18-35-10), who have lost three of four.
''I liked the way our guys played,'' Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson said. ''I thought both teams played strong games. We gave ourselves a chance to win or get some points.''
Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins agreed his team is showing progress, even if not always getting the desired result.
''That was the best we have played against them all year, but at the same time we have to find a way to get that extra goal,'' he said. ''That's twice in the last few games that a team has scored late on us.''
St. Louis took a 1-0 lead with 7:49 remaining in the first period when Stastny made a nice feed across to Jaskin, who beat goalie Ben Scrivens for his 10th goal of the season.
Edmonton tied it 6:31 into the second period as Schultz put a long wrist shot past Elliott.
The shots narrowly favored the Blues 15-14 through two periods.
The Blues buzzed for the first half of the third period, but Scrivens made several huge stops - including a glove save on Stastny.
Stastny got even when he cut in front and sent a backhanded shot through Scrivens' legs to make it 2-1.
Edmonton was awarded a late power play, and pulled Scrivens for an extra skater, but couldn't net the tying goal.
Elliott made 21 saves for the win. Scrivens stopped 25 shots in defeat.
NOTES: St. Louis is 17-2-1 in its last 20 games against Edmonton. ... Oilers D Jeff Petry was a healthy scratch, adding speculation he will be dealt before Monday's NHL trade deadline. ... Blues D Jay Bouwmeester played his 900th NHL game in his hometown. ... Out with injuries for the Oilers were Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen), Taylor Hall (foot), Nikita Nikitin (shoulder), Viktor Fasth (knee) and Anton Lander (shoulder). The Blues were healthier with just Kevin Shattenkirk (abdomen) out of the lineup.