ST. LOUIS — Born March 17 to great fanfare as the first child of St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie and fiancee Lauren Cosgrove, Lyla Grace Oshie was receiving plenty of attention at the hospital as well.
She was born with gastroschisis, a rare birth defect where the baby is born with its intestines outside the body. The condition required immediate surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital and lots of extra attention and care, but the situation is improving.
"We knew at 13 weeks, so going into it we were all prepared," Oshie said Saturday. "We knew the steps. We knew that it could be two months, it could be three months, it could be four weeks.
"She's been doing a great job. She's a tough little girl."
And while the young couple had to wait several days before they could hold their daughter, now they are giving her all the extra attention they can.
"It's hard," Oshie said. "It was unfortunate and it was tough not to hold her, but the fact that she was here and that she was in good hands outweighed the disappointment of not being able to hold her.
"I was able to hold her hand and be there step by step."
Lyla Grace is expected to be released from the hospital as early as Monday. Her story was also featured on Friday's "Today Show," seen locally on KSDK Channel 5.
Saturday's shutout loss left the Blues with no goals in seven of their last nine periods on home ice. That's a problem this close to the playoffs, as is a slumping power play that is 0-for-9 in the last three games.
"We look slow offensively and we've got to get more energy built up there," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've got to get our top players on the power play playing better. We've got to be a lot more creative than we are from a goal-scoring standpoint.
"We played very well the first period, but then when we got the special teams we didn't execute worth a darn."
Any idea on how to fix things?
"We've got to change the lines," said Hitchcock, who continues to tinker with his combinations. "We've got to blow it up, start over. We'll figure it out."
The Blues don't have long to mull over the defeat with a game in Chicago against the Blackhawks at 11:30 a.m.. Sunday.
"We knew we were going to play good hockey down the stretch and today wasn't that," Blues captain David Backes said. "We've got five games left to not only try to solidify a spot. but also to get our game in order for playoffs. Today wasn't a great step in that direction. Hopefully, tomorrow is."
*Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo entered Saturday's game with 50 points and a plus-minus rating of plus-25. The only two Blues defensemen to reach those numbers at the end of a regular season are Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger.
* In the first 10 games the Blues have played without injured winger Vladimir Tarasenko, they have scored two goals or fewer seven times. That includes four games with one or no goals.