ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues honoured Brett Hull for a second time and this time they made it a feel-good night all the way around.
T.J. Oshie scored the go-ahead goal with 4:58 to play and the Calgary Flames were limited to only four shots in the third period of St. Louis’ 4-3 victory on Tuesday night. The Blues are only 6-10-2 at home, and beat the NHL’s top road team after Hull was honoured for his recent induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony.
“I think the festivities definitely helped us,” said Brad Boyes, who assisted on the first three goals. “But at the same time it was a big game. We’ve got to get this home record back to the way we need it, and tonight was the first step.”
The first time the Blues honoured Hull, there was a sour finish – a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in December 2006 that was the final game before coach Mike Kitchen was fired. Players also were motivated after blowing a 3-0 lead in a 5-3 loss to the Oilers at home on Friday.
“I think we learned from our mistakes,” Oshie said. “We talked about putting a 60-minute game together. We had our heads on straight.”
Rene Bourque had a goal and assist for the Flames, who have lost three straight one-goal decisions. Calgary is 11-5-3 on the road with an NHL-leading 25 points.
“I think we’ve just got to get back to our game,” forward Dustin Boyd said. “The last three games we’ve shown flashes, but not enough.”
All of the Flames’ regulation road losses have been by one goal.
“For 40 minutes it was a good game,” Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. “We took our foot off the pedal in the third and made some mental mistakes.”
Andy McDonald and Alex Steen snapped goal droughts of 14 and 12 games for the Blues.
Oshie scored on a rush, beating backup goalie Curtis McElhinney from the slot off a feed from Paul Kariya. It was his second winning goal of the season and this month, after scoring in a shootout at San Jose on Dec. 4.
“That was a great pass, good shot, good execution,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “We just needed to beat somebody at home.”
Daymond Langkow’s power-play goal early in the second ended a string of 10 consecutive penalty kills by St. Louis. Calgary took its first lead when Boyd scored from the slot midway through the period. The Blues tied it at 3 on Steen’s power-play goal at 17:23, with the puck apparently deflecting off Langkow’s stick in front.
David Backes’ third goal in two games opened the scoring, and McDonald sped around Robyn Regehr and scored with just over a minute to go in the first period to give the Blues their second lead.
Bourque scored his 10th goal and third in four games midway through the period after Dion Phaneuf’s backhand feed across the crease.
NOTES: Flames D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 375th consecutive game, the NHL’s longest current streak. … Blues F Cam Janssen, who attempted to set the tone with an early fight against Brandon Prust, had been a healthy scratch the previous five games. … Flames captain Jarome Iginla entered the night tied for 10th in the NHL with 17 goals, but has been held to four assists in seven games. … Attendance of 19,150 was the Blues’ 12th sellout.