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NHL St Louis Blues

Lack Of Scoring, Power Play Struggles Are Huge Concerns For St. Louis Blues

Power Play St. Louis Blues Stewart

Don McPeak – USA TODAY Sports

Just days after recording three consecutive shutouts, the St. Louis Blues suffered their second consecutive loss, failing to score against the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-0 loss on Sunday. The Blues now sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings. That puts them just one point behind the San Jose Sharks (fifth) but also just one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild (seventh) and Detroit Red Wings (eighth). The Blues have thrived this season thanks to solid goaltending, but now have to be concerned about an offense that has struggled to score more than one goal in any of their last five games.

The Blues aren’t just struggling to score goals lately, they are also struggling mightily on the power play. In the last five games the Blues have had a total of 12 chances with the man-advantage, but have not been able find the back of the net. The struggles on this end of the special teams equation is a stark contrast to the Blues’ performance on the penalty kill, which has been outstanding. The Blues have not allowed a power play goal since Mar. 23, which has helped them improve to seventh in the league in penalty kill percentage. Despite their recent struggles the Blues still have one of the league’s top ten power play units this season, but the time for Chris Stewart (four PP goals), Patrik Berglund (four PP goals) and Kevin Shattenkirk (two PP goals, nine PP points) to start delivering again has come. The Blues miss winger T.J. Oshie, who had been one of the best power play performers this season but has been out for eight games with a foot injury.

The Blues are by no means safe when it comes to a playoff spot, especially given how close the conference race has gotten in the past week. If they don’t start scoring goals soon, they could be in big trouble.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.