ST. LOUIS — As the St. Louis Blues showed once again Tuesday, there is lot still to be fixed with this team.
The Blues fired a season-high 43 shots at Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and still lost 3-0 -- just three days after beating the Oilers by the same score in Edmonton.
After the loss, the Blues' third in their previous four games, the media was not allowed in the dressing room for 22 minutes.
That usually means a team meeting of some sort and given the events that had happened earlier that night, it wasn't too surprising.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock also kept the media waiting far longer than after most games.
"We've got to turn this around and get back on track," Blues captain David Backes said. "There's no question about it. There's no secrets, it's getting it back on the tracks and having a good outing Thursday against the defending Stanley Cup champions in our building."
While the Blues fired a lot of shots at the 40-year-old Khabibulin, not all were of the highest degree of difficulty. But Khabibulin still stopped two breakaways and robbed Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko with a sparkling glove save for his first shutout since Nov. 3, 2011.
"There was a lot of shots, a lot of volume, but we had too much perimeter and not enough second and third opportunities," Backes said. "Goalies are good in the NHL. If you're not getting those second chances, first one off his pad and the second buried, then it's tough to score."
In their last three losses the Blues have outshot their opponents 115-55, counting the lopsided 43-19 margin on Tuesday.
Khabibulin stopped Backes on a partial breakaway late in the second period. Backes has three goals this season and none in his last 12 games.
"He's out (of the net) and I'm squeezing my stick to shreds," Backes said. "I'm surprised it just didn't explode on (me). There's time you feel you can't miss those and times when you feel like no matter what happens it's going to be tough to put it by him. I'm going through one of those stretches right now where unfortunately I'm squeezing it."
A Blues turnover along the boards led to a 3-on-1 for the Oilers headed the other way. Taylor Hall slid the puck across to Jordan Eberle, who netted his eighth goal with Allen having little chance on the play and another Blues' mistake ended up in their own net.
Khabibulin came up big twice in the opening period.
After Tarasenko faked his way past a defender and let loose a hard wrist shot from the slot, Khabibulin snared it in his glove with 4:36 remaining in the period.
Before the period ended, Blues winger Alex Steen split two defenders but had his shot turned away by Khabibulin.
Eberle's second goal of the night came 3:26 into the second period and came right after Khabibulin robbed Blues winger David Perron with a pad save on a breakaway at the other end.
It was second goal on just five shots by the Oilers, who increased their lead to 3-0 less than two minutes later. Allen stopped Eberle on a breakaway, but Taylor Hall was there to deposit the rebound into an empty net.
Allen left after surrendering three goals on seven shots, but there was little he could have done on two of them. He was replaced by Jaroslav Halak at the 5:17 mark of the second period.
The goal gave the Oilers' trio of Eberle, Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins eight points on the night.
A frustrated Blues team began fighting back in the second period, with Backes and Eberle separated by officials before receiving roughing penalties.
Blues defenseman Barret Jackman tangled with Edmonton's Mike Brown, throwing Brown to the ice before the officials intervened.
The Blues had a season-high 21 shots in the second period and were outshooting the Oilers 29-9 through two periods.