The St. Louis Blues were cruising tonight against the Ottawa Senators, but things got ugly fast in the third period as they gave up three consecutive goals before losing 5-4 in the shootout.
The Blues had a 3-1 lead headed into the final frame, but the Senators got goals from Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris, and Jason Spezza to grab a 4-3 lead.
Jordan Leopold’s goal from a bad angle helped send the game to overtime and salvage a point for the Blues, but Turris ended it with his shootout goal in the fifth round to give the Senators the win on the road.
Sens goalie Robin Lehner, despite Leopold’s ugly goal, stopped 46 shots during regulation and three out of five in the shootout.
Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak had looked good through 40 minutes, but the wheels came off quickly in the third on the way to 27 saves. In the shootout, however, he stopped only two out of five shots.
St. Louis had a chance to pull within one point of Central-leading Chicago with a win in regulation, but had to settle for just one. Ottawa, meanwhile, snapped a two-game losing skid and pulled to within a point of Detroit in the Wild Card race.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.
James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.
Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.
Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.
Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.
It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.