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After sting of elimination, Blues meet Flyers

Mar 26, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA;   St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (25) and Los Angeles Kings left wing Alex Iafallo (19) battle for the puck in the third period at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Teams playing out the final stretch of lackluster seasons meet on Tuesday when the St. Louis Blues host the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Blues (35-35-7, 77 points) were eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since the 2017-2018 season with a 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting Boston Bruins on Sunday.

“It’s very disappointing,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “This organization, and what’s expected of everybody, we’re not very happy for sure.”

The Flyers (29-34-13, 71 points) are coming off a 4-2 loss against the host Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, marking Philadelphia’s third straight loss (0-2-1) following a four-game winning streak. Philadelphia will miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

The Blues trailed the Bruins 3-0 after Oskar Steen’s goal at the 8:02 mark of the second period before Jordan Kyrou got St. Louis on the scoreboard with nine seconds left in the period.

Torey Krug pulled the Blues to within 3-2 at the 9:47 mark of the third period before Kyrou’s equalizer with 25 seconds left sent the game into overtime.

After a scoreless overtime, Kyrou missed in the shootout before Boston’s first shooter, Charlie Coyle, scored what turned out to be shootout’s lone goal. Boston goalie Linus Ullmark saved Brayden Schenn’s wrist shot in the final round to secure the win.

St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington made 28 saves, while Schenn had three assists in the team’s third loss in its past five games (2-2-1).

“Obviously, they had a good start, but we reacted well eventually,” Krug said. “I thought for the most part we played the right way and guys showed a lot of courage sticking in the fight. We had guys battling through injuries and making big plays at big moments. Unfortunately, we just didn’t get the extra point.”

The Flyers’ comeback also fell short in their last game.

Trailing 3-0 after two periods, Philadelphia pulled to within 3-2 on goals by Nicolas Deslauriers and Travis Konecny before Pittsburgh’s Ryan Poehling’s empty-net goal secured the win with 1:12 remaining.

Samuel Ersson made 27 saves for the Flyers.

“I thought we had the higher-quality chances in the game,” Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said. “I didn’t think it was out of reach when it was 3-0. I just thought we’d keep banging away. I thought we’d get to them. We certainly tried.”

St. Louis is led by Kyrou, who leads the team in points (71) and goals (36), in addition to 35 assists. But the Blues’ second-and-third-leading scorers — Pavel Buchnevich (25 goals, 41 assists, 66 points) and Robert Thomas (17 goals, team-high 46 assists, 63 points) — haven’t played since sustaining injuries against Vancouver on March 28. They are game-time decisions against the Flyers.

Philadelphia is led by Konecny, who leads the team with 29 goals and 56 points, while Kevin Hayes has a team-high 36 assists to go along with 17 goals, but no other Flyers player has more than 42 points.

The Flyers defeated the visiting Blues 5-1 on Nov. 8 in the teams’ previous meeting this season. Noah Cates, Owen Tippett and Konecny each had a goal and an assist, while Wade Allison and Lukas Sedlak also scored for the Flyers.

–Field Level Media

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