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Chris Pinkert has covered the St. Louis Blues for more than seven seasons and will frequently contribute news, analysis and stories from the locker room to the Blue Note Insider blog. Check back often for exclusive behind the scenes access to the Blues and be sure to follow him on Twitter at @BlueNoteInsider

Back to Square One

Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 12:02 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blue Note Insider

With the best-of-7 series tied 2-2 after four games, it’s almost like everything is back to square one.

“You learn from everything and all the mistakes that you’ve made and you learn from the things we’re doing good,” T.J. Oshie said. “Now it’s a best-of-3 and we just have to approach it like that.”

Fortunately for the Blues, two of the final three games in this series will be played at Scottrade Center. The home team has won every game thus far.

Andy McDonald said the key to winning Game 5 will be getting back to the game plan. He said the team has strayed from it when things haven’t gone well, both in this series and throughout the regular season.

“The good teams play an entire game and trust the system that’s in place and do it every shift,” McDonald said. “That’s what happens in the playoffs. There’s so many ups and downs, calls that go against you, things that happen, it becomes more and more important to stick to the game (plan).”

Head Coach Ken Hitchcock had a good handle on what went wrong in Game 4 and touched upon it during his pregame press conference today.

“We gave up the wrong odd man rushes to the wrong people and they slammed it right in our net,” Hitchcock said. “We gave up too many odd man rushes because we were forcing offense. Instead of just letting the game drive itself, we tried to push and force the issue.”

Tonight’s game could be a pivotal one in the series. If the Blues win, they’ll have a chance to wrap it up at Staples Center on Friday. If the Blues lose, they’ll face a must-win situation in a building where the Kings have won nine consecutive games.

CPR LINE RETURNS?

Ken Hitchcock wouldn’t say whether Adam Cracknell was back in the lineup for tonight’s Game 5, so we’ll have to wait and see when the puck drops at 8 p.m. tonight.

But if the CPR line is to return, Cracknell knows what the line has to bring.

“You look at the series, it’s been very physical. Going into Game 5 now, guys might be starting to get some bumps and bruises. As a line, you want to try to wear down the opposing team,” Cracknell said. “Try to get it down low, get some hits on their D and try to re-aggravate those injuries or bruises. Just make them a little tired, and I think you’re going to make mistakes when you’re tired.

“As a line, just be physical and bring a lot of energy.”

‘NOTEWORTHY

  • Hitchcock actually referred to the Adam CracknellChris PorterRyan Reaves line today as the “CPR line.” The name was created by fans on the internet as has seemed to catch on with everyone, including the head coach.
  • T.J. Oshie logged his first career multi-goal game in the postseason in Game 4.
  • Vladimir Sobotka set a franchise postseason record with 10 hits in Game 4. He also picked up his first career multi-point postseason game.
  • The Blues have allowed just two power-play goals to LA on 33 playoff opportunities dating back to last season’s playoff series.
  • David Perron has five points (one goal and four assists) in his last six games vs. LA.
  • Barret Jackman is tied for first among all defenseman in the playoffs with 14 blocked shots.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Shattenkirk 4 1 4 2 5
V. Tarasenko 4 4 0 2 4
C. Porter 4 1 2 2 3
V. Sobotka 4 0 3 3 3
B. Jackman 4 1 1 -1 2
M. Lapierre 4 1 1 3 2
J. Schwartz 4 1 1 -2 2
S. Ott 4 0 2 0 2
A. Pietrangelo 4 0 2 0 2
A. Steen 4 1 0 -3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Miller 2 2 1 .914 2.24

 
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