Opening round loss an opportunity missed for Blues

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The St. Louis Blues had the defending Stanley Cup champions on the ropes early in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final. But they couldn’t put them down for the count.

The Blues lost Game 6 of the series by a final score of 2-1 on Friday night, and were eliminated from the post-season, losing the series 4-2.

The Blues won the first two games of the series, but lost the final four.

“You get opportunities like this, like we did in Game 3 and 5 and again tonight, you can’t miss those opportunities,” said Blues’ head coach Ken Hitchcock, according to a pair of tweets (here and here) from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“I hope our players, when they pause & reflect on it, are really pissed off. Disappointed in opportunity we missed here.”

One point of concern was the Blues’ inability to get pucks on net. St. Louis had 21 missed shots in Game 6, and could not get anything at the Kings goal when they needed to the most.

And when the Blues’ shots were on target, Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick got in the way.

Quick was sensational again in Game 6, making several key stops during the game.

And then there was Dustin Penner’s winning goal, which came with 0.2 seconds remaining in the second period on a slap shot that deflected off the stick of Blues’ defenseman Roman Polak and past Brian Elliott.