Kevin Shattenkirk

Video: Parise opens scoring from a bad angle

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With Justin Fontaine in the box for tripping, Zach Parise opened the scoring with his second of the playoffs.

Matt Cooke started the play by causing Kevin Shattenkirk to turn the puck over at the Wild blue line.

Parise then beat Blues’ starter Jake Allen from a bad angle.

It makes one wonder…

Parise is the sixth player in franchise history to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs.

Minnesota is 2-0 in the series when scoring first.

Shattenkirk lighting it up as Blues play ‘our game’

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Following Wednesday’s 6-1 whipping of Minnesota in Game 4 of their opening round series, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock had a telling quote:

“This is our game. It’s not our best game. We can play a lot better than we played today. We’ve still got things we’ve got to work on, but this is our game.

“We’re going to play this game and if it’s good enough, we’re going to put it out there, and if we win with it, great. If we don’t win with it, so be it. But this is our game.”

If Wednesday was truly indicative of the way the Blues want to play, might want to keep an eye on what Kevin Shattenkirk does moving forward.

Why? Well, Shattenkirk assisted on three of St. Louis’ six goals last night, continuing a theme that’s been present throughout this series; all told, he’s recorded helpers on seven of the Blues’ 12 goals and is currently tied with Anaheim’s Corey Perry for the playoff scoring lead.

Shattenkirk is also the first St. Louis blueliner to have six assists in a series since Hall of Famer Al MacInnis did it in 16 years ago.

Part of Shattenkirk’s Game 4 outburst came from a subtle move by Hitchcock. Hitch moved the 26-year-old back onto a defensive pairing with Carl Gunnarsson and the two fared pretty well, emerging with solid possession metrics (while allowing Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo to reunite as a pairing, which was also a boon for the Blues.)

While Shattenkirk was quick to deflect praise onto his teammates following the win, his comments said plenty about the Blues’ top talent coming through in a crucial moment.

“Our best players played well. Our whole lineup played well I think,” Shattenkirk said. “We got something from everyone tonight.”

Blues need more — much more — from Backes, Stastny and Oshie

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Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Steen, Patrik Berglund, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera.

What do those six have in common?

Well, aside from all playing for St. Louis, they’re also the only six Blues to have scored a point in the opening playoff round against Minnesota.

The list of those with zeros in the points column is much, much longer.

And that list is topped by three of the team’s highest-paid and most influential forwards — captain David Backes, alternate captain T.J. Oshie and Paul Stastny, the $7-million dollar man. That trio has combined for no goals, no assists and a collective minus-2 rating thus far; Backes and Stastny have put just eight total shots on goal and nobody seems to be driving play or dictating tempo like they were during the regular season.

“We don’t draw a single penalty tonight for good reason,” Backes told the Post-Dispatch after falling behind 2-1 in the series on Monday night. “We’re not on our toes, we’re not carrying the play in their zone and making them take penalties.”

St. Louis, who boasted the league’s fourth-best power play during the regular season, has had the man advantage just five times in three games and, as Backes mentioned, not once in Game 3. It’s definitely playing a role in the lack of production — 10 of Backes’ 26 goals this year came on the PP, as did 15 of Stastny’s 46 points.

But there’s more to it than the power play.

The Blues look stifled on Monday night, unable to generate much of anything in the way of offense. They put just 17 shots on Devan Dubnyk — eight through the first two periods — and lost whatever momentum they might’ve gained after a big win (and Tarasenko’s hat trick) in Game 2.

“[The Wild] got to show their skill, speed and ability,” Backes said. “We were playing catch-up all night.”

And now the Blues are playing catch-up in the series as well.

Video: Tarasenko scores twice giving the Blues an early lead

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St. Louis Blues’ sniper Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in the first period to give the Blues a 2-0 lead.

The 23-year-old opened the scoring tipping home an Alex Steen feed at 13:18 for his first of the playoffs.

Less than five minutes later, Tarasenko caught Devan Dubnyk off the post just enough to sneak a shot short side on the Wild starter.

Steen and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk have the assists on both goals.

PHT Morning Skate: Former NHLer Warren Peters delivers a devastating hit in a Danish league game

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Former NHLer Warren Peters is in some hot water following a devastating hit in a Danish league game. Peters, who appeared in 94 career NHL games with the Flames, Wild and Stars, hit Lasse Bang with a blindside hit. Bang suffered a concussion on the hit while Peters was slapped with a six-game suspension. (Bar Down)

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St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk talks about the elite blue liners he’s played against during his six seasons in the NHL. (The Players’ Tribune)

The Hockey News looks at five trades made at the March trade deadline currently paying off. (The Hockey News)

Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich displays his best Loyd Christmas impersonation after chipping a tooth.

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Kristina Rutherford visits with one of the newest members of the Buffalo Sabres, Evander Kane. (Sportsnet)