Early hit from Blues' Lapierre sets tone for rough game

News-DemocratOctober 15, 2013 

— An early hit from behind by center Maxim Lapierre on San Jose's Dan Boyle helped set the tone for a rugged first period -- and an extremely rough night -- for the St. Louis Blues.

San Jose moved to 6-0 this season by knocking off the Blues 6-2 in a battle of unbeatens at Scottrade Center.

Boyle's face and head appeared to strike the glass and he lay on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.

Officials said he was alert and moving his extremities after being taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

That hit sparked fights all over the ice, with San Jose's Andrew Desjardins going after Lapierre and Blues winger Ryan Reaves squaring off with Matt Pelech.

Lapierre, who could be looking at a possible suspension, got five minutes for checking from behind as well as a game misconduct. Reaves and Pelech also got game misconducts while Desjardins, whose penalty originally was announced as a game misconduct, later had it changed to a 10-minute misconduct.

Desjardins also received two minutes for instigating and five minutes for fighting.

The Blues and Sharks combined for 16 penalties totaling 79 minutes in the opening period.

Before Tuesday, the Blues had won six of the last seven games against the Sharks while outscoring them 20-10.

Put me in, coach

The Blues used the same lineup Tuesday for the fifth straight game. As a result, forwards Adam Cracknell and Magnus Paajarvi and defenseman Ian Cole have yet to make their 2013-14 Blues debuts.

Blues backup goalie Brian Elliott began the night on the bench, but replaced starter Jaroslav Halak to start the third period with the Blues trailing 4-0.

Hitchcock will likely turn to Elliott on Friday when the Blues play the second of back-to-back games. The coach also plans on inserting the other players as well over the next string of games.

"I don't think you can be part of the team if you're just practicing," Hitchcock said. "I think from a freshness standpoint we've got to have everybody active, everybody participating."

Hitchcock may not have planned it this way, but he wasn't ready to tinker with the early success, either.

"There hasn't been a reason to put them in yet, not based on their play but based on everybody else's play," he said. "Everybody that's playing has played well. I've always believed we're a team of 23, not 20 plus 3. There's a big difference."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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