The Blues welcomed back three players who have been out of the lineup for multiple games. Fan-favorite T.J. Oshie was returning from a team suspension (2 games), and forward Alex Steen (10 games) and defenseman Barret Jackman (10 games) were returning from injuries. The Blues also saw a big milestone reached by David Backes.
Backes scored at 14:27 of the second period, which was his 100th career NHL goal after a nice pass from Kevin Shattenkirk. The goal was Backes’ 29th of the season.
The Blues added a goal from Matt D’Agostini, who had the first goal of the game and broke Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff’s Blues shutout streak of 144:41. The power-play goal was assisted by Backes and Shattenkirk and was D’Agostini’s 21st goal of the season.
But it was not enough as the Blues could not hold their lead and fell to the Flames 3-2 in regulation.
The Blues, who have now been outscored 14-3 by the Flames this season and went 0-4 in the season series, put 27 shots on Kiprusoff, but the Finnish netminder stayed strong late in the game to steal a victory from St. Louis.
Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves on 25 shots and was instrumental in stopping Flames Captain Jarome Iginla early on. Halak made two tip-in saves on Iginla within about five minutes of each other in the middle of the second period, but Iginla was relentless on getting pucks past the Blues goaltender.
Jarome Iginla scored his 38th and 39th for the Flames late in the second and in the third period, solidifying his 3rd spot atop the NHL goal-leaderboard. His two goals and one assist also gave him 1,000 points in his NHL career. In four games played against the Blues this season, Iginla has five goals, two assists and seven points.
The Flames, who also welcomed back center Daymond Langkow from a fractured vertebra in his neck in an incident that occurred late last season, also benefitted on a goal from Alex Tanguay.
The Chicago Blackhawks won in Columbus tonight, officially eliminating the Blues from the playoff picture.
“We need to learn how to play to win and make sure [that] when we get a two-goal lead we know how to shut the door,” Backes said.
Backes also added his disappointment with the Blues’ playoff hopes officially coming to an end.
“We’re not happy in this room to not be in the playoffs and it’s unacceptable.”
With the win, Calgary moves into the ninth spot in the Western Conference, just three points behind the eighth-place Chicago Blackhawks with three games left to play.
The Blues’ next game will be Sunday, April 3 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio when they face-off with the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 4 pm Sunday matinee.
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