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Playoffs denied: Blues, Elliott shut out Penguins 1-0

Mar 23, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

Evgeni Malkin, Brian Elliott AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a chance to officially book a spot in the postseason if they took out the St. Louis Blues, but Brian Elliott got in the way of that.

Elliott stopped all 33 shots he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season and David Backes scored a third period goal to give the Blues a 1-0 victory against the Penguins. The win gives the Blues 103 points and ties them with the Bruins for the top spot in the league.

The Blues win didn’t come easy as they had to kill a 5-on-3 Penguins power play late in the first and early into the second period. After Pittsburgh’s power play went 3-6 against Tampa Bay on Saturday, the Pens couldn’t find a way through Elliott and the Blues defense.

Backes’ goal was his 24th of the season. He’s second only to Alex Steen and his 30 goals for the Blues lead.

Pittsburgh could’ve helped themselves clinch a spot in the postseason with some help from other teams today, but that mini-celebration will be put on hold for at least another game. Don’t worry, we’re pretty sure their spot in the playoffs is secure.

  1. henrik4dawin - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    I would laugh so hard if they missed the playoff’s!!

    • cheesesteak75 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      Look in a mirror if you need a good laugh.

      • handsofsweed - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        A Philly fan calling out an obvious d-bag trolling the Pens? Much respect. I’ll give you this: Giroux is a for real SOB.

    • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      uh ok. i think maybe you misunderstand the concept of clinching a playoff spot with over 10 games left.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I enjoy watching close games very much but I’d rather watch a 3-2 or a 4-3 game instead of a 1-0 game. St. Louis played a great game as did the Pens just that St. Louis got the bounce. I will say this that the Western Conference Playoffs are going to be very close and worthy of watching. Four great teams are going to be out early.

  3. penguins87and71 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I can’t really blame the Penguins for this lose, the Blues were coming off two embarrassing loses against Chicago and Philadelphia, they were due to bounce back. I felt the Penguins carried the zone time and outshot the Blues, but Elliot and the defense were really good. Today was like a playoff game, and Fleury was strong, so that gives me hope.

  4. nj666 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    They won the division by december pretty much. I think they’ll be ok.

  5. dropthepuckeh - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Amazing how quickly the Penguin apologists come out to justify a loss. No kidding the west is going to be great hockey, pretty sure the East will also be very entertaining and tight.

    • penguins87and71 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      What do you wan’t me to say they sucked?!? They didn’t suck today, it was a good playoff type game between good teams. I have no problem with ripping my team when they deserved to be ripped. Today’s game was not one of those games. The Penguins played a really good game today, so did the Blues.

      • paperlions - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        To answer your question, yeah, I think that is exactly what he wants you to say.

        Anyone that watched the Blues play the Flyers Saturday wouldn’t say that the Blues were outplayed, it was a 2-1 game until the last few minutes, the Blues spent more time in the Flyers end than the Flyers did in theirs, and the Blues outshot them. Mason made some great and lucky saves and the Blues hit the post 4 times. It’s hockey, it happens. Sometimes get outplayed and win, sometimes you play great and lose.

      • laxman1944 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:51 PM

        Screw you “Paperlion”

        Flyers worked their asses off and EARNED the victory.

        Worry about your team sir.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        I have to disagree with paperlions about the Philly game… the 1st period the Blues had the puck in the offensive zone most of the time but after that the Flyers controlled the majority of the play. Maybe it seemed that way to you bc the Blues had quite a few PPs in the 2nd and 3rd. Plus the Blues have a great defense and block a lot of shots so there was a shot disparity. I agree that in hockey you can outplay an opponent and still lose, however that’s not what happened Saturday. Maybe that’s how it worked today, I didn’t watch the entire game.

    • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      lol your talking about a fan base that lambastes its team for pretty much every loss they take.

      did you even watch the game? we did. it was a damn good hockey game by both teams. the Blues were able to cash in on a deflection goal on the power play, and our PP did not.

      played yesterday afternoon and after a tight game for 50 minutes, lost steam towards the end of the game and were unable to will a goal past Elliot like the Blues did.

      they didnt commit a crime, there is nothing to justify.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      Who are you talking about? “Pittsburgh apologists”? What the heck is that? Anyone commenting on reasons that a 1-0 game fell the other way? That’s kind of absurd, isn’t it?

  6. narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    So the Flyers beat the Blues 4-1 and then the Penguins get blanked by their backup goalie.

    • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      what are you trying to say here? means nothing.

      you cant possibly believe that statement has any kind of definition.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        Let’s see… Flyers have beaten Pittsburgh twice, Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis in the last 9 days. If you can’t see that the Bruins and Flyers are the two most dangerous teams in the East, then you probably believe Kunitz is better than Giroux. Oh wait, you do believe that.

        Also, I like that you comment on nearly every negative comment about the Penguins.

      • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        yeah i mean i like that your an uncontrollable dbag that cant help himself but go into an article about the current Pens game just to say “errr duh”

        why dont you say something worthwhile? nobody cares about what the flyers are doing. why are you even coming in here just to say “bruins and philly are the most dangerous team” so what if you think that?

        talk about the game that just got played or get lost. but you most likely didnt watch the game. just read a headline and came in here like a slobbering dog to see where you could take a crap.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        I did talk about the game that got played. And the game yesterday between one of these two teams and the other team’s biggest rival. Also… where do you stand on that whole Kunitz vs Giroux debate? I believe you said Kunitz?

        “Hello? Leg warehouse? Do you have something for c9castine to stand on? You don’t? Oh okay. Thanks anyway.”

      • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        haha ok…enough arguing with little kids for one day.

        kunitz vs. giroux? since when did they became a rival pair haha…why would we even talk about that?

        maybe it was when Kunitz made the Canadian Olympic team and helped them win a Gold medal.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        Well you threw a temper tantrum that Kunitz is better than Giroux regardless of all factual evidence showing you were wrong.

      • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        oh really…when did this happen? a temper tantrum huh?

        go on…

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Right here…

        http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/07/kunitz-belongs-on-team-canada-says-yzerman/

        Notice how I give stats and facts in response to everything you ask. You then ignore those stats, type in all caps, and try to change the discussion every time the stats don’t back up your argument.

        Yes. Temper tantrum.

      • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        you dont really think i care that much do you?

    • jpelle82 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      the “backup” goalie who was the other half of the jennings trophy and would be the #1 if they didnt trade for ryan miller? same guy who has a gaa under 2 (2nd among all goalies) and a sv% over .920? ken hitchcock is a smart coach, he knows miller’s terrible against the penguins and sidney crosby.

  7. chanceoffleury - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Maybe I’m the only one but this game sucked to watch. It was exciting and the Pens played a great game and had lots of chances, but at the end of the day I was just watching them get outworked by a better team. There really wasn’t much they could have done differently to have won it. A solid game against a good team right before the playoffs isn’t the worst thing, but it still sucks a little to lose 1-0.

    I hope they beat the Hawks at the end of the month because they really need the boost right now. Ideally it’d be nice to see them finish out the season playing solid games to beat the Hawks, Avs, and Flyers in close, lower scoring games. Right now they’re winning games they should be winning, but it’d be a nice confidence booster right before the playoffs to beat a couple of teams they could use a little redemption against.

    • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      i tihnk your being a bit too emotional.

      i think you need the boost. the Penguins just need to keep working and trying to improve their game like every other team in the league right now.

      Chicago went on a 4-5-1 skid, anaheim is slumping, san jose got beat by washington…thats hockey.

      • chanceoffleury - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Haha, probably! If someone proposed I was too emotionally invested in the Penguins I would have no argument for them. I am. I’ve learned it’s easier to just accept it rather than to fight it.

  8. killerpgh - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I thought it was a great game to watch.

  9. steelcity333 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Yeah the penguins did play well today but it again proved this team has no scoring depth outside the top 2 lines. If those lines get shut down this team has no chance at beating Boston.

    • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      What makes you think they’ll even make it to Boston?

      • steelcity333 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        I wasn’t really making a guarantee or anything but I do believe they can get by every team in the east with just those two lines producing besides Boston.

      • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        what makes you think Boston is even going to make it to the Penguins?

        when are people going to learn? regular season means nothin. you know what means even less? last years playoffs.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        Oh that’s just something that a fan of team that got whooped by the Flyers and Bruins the last two years says.

      • steelcity333 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        What does make you think boston will automatically get there? I hate using this term but if the season ended today they’d play detroit and I’m pretty sure leads the season series 3-1. And as far as philly is concerned, the Rangers have recently owned them. So I wouldn’t just write them into the second round.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        I never said that Boston would be there. I was merely saying that Pittsburgh making it out of the Metro division isn’t a certainty, let alone even a likely probability.

        As for Philly vs. Rangers, Flyers have won 2 of 3 this year against them.

  10. penguins87and71 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    I totally agree, the Penguins 3rd and 4th line are really going to have to pick the pace up for the Penguins to win the cup. I think what Ray Shero should do in the offseason is focus on upgrading the 3rd line.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      Agreed, but remember that normally it wouldn’t have been all that bad. Need more production from Sutter, but he tried that at the trade deadline with Kesler. The wings wouldn’t be as bad if Dupuis wasn’t out and Bennett was back. They do need more from both the third and fourth lines – if he isn’t getting it with what he has then he needs to bring up someone (Sill and Harry Z come to mind) that can at least play, shall we say, more effective role. Here’s a problem:

      Player Shots
      Gibbons 0
      Adams 0
      Goc 0
      Glass 1
      Sutter 4
      Engelland 0 (7 Dmen when scoring from the bottom six is lacking….good idea?)

      So, 5 shots, mostly from Sutter, amongst the entire bottom 6. Bah.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        I don’t disagree that the Pens need more production, at least out of the 3rd line, but let’s remember the full picture here. This St. Louis Blues team is the best defensive team in the West, and I would argue right up their with our friends from Beantown for the best defensive team in hockey. This isn’t just a matter of the bottom six not showing up, but as much a function of them dealing with a tough group opposite them.

      • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        I agree completely – but I think the bottom six DID show up, at least to do the job that Bylsma wants them to do. Responsively kill time, let Crosby and Malkin rest. That is evident by the number of shots taken. I actually think that Sutter is on the right page, but he needs support also. They are going to need scoring depth. They need a guy like Cooke down there. When Bennett returns hopefully they’ll be able to at least put a threat together.

  11. bsfan77 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Dont you think Bylsma should try different combos on the PP instead of leaving the no shows out there for 2 min? 0 depth on the Pens. Someone needs to teach Crybaby Crosby to back check like Bergeron.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Alrighty Einstein, let’s examine. Bergeron is a good player, but plays a different role on his team, and isn’t leaned upon anywhere NEAR as much. Crosby averages 22 minutes a night (2nd among forwards), and has to carry a big load with the lack of depth due to injury. Played 24 yesterday, as did Malkin. Bergeron plays 18. Crosby plays ALL situations, especially desperation ones…does Bergy? No. They do not put him out there when they need production. He’s less than a point per game guy, and he’s good at that.

      So, in a game where Crosby was a +/-0, and only one goal was scored, how do you feel that it would have helped him or his team to “back check like Bergeron”? It wouldn’t have, would it? Please explain yourself.

  12. bsfan77 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Better hope Letang comes back because Flopik and Goontorzzo arent going to be good enough on D to male a deep playoff run. Shero should have kept Stall and Talbot. I guess choices are limited when you put all your eggs in the top 2 baskets.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      Did a B’s fan REALLY just used the term “goon” in regard to another team? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH…

      Hopefully when your hangover wears off today you’ll not feel too silly.

  13. blackheart78 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Leave it to the NHL and NBC to not broadcast this game nationally. By no stretch am I a Blues or Penguins fan but when you have what could be a preview of the Stanley Cup finals you should be showing this game nationally. Yes I know it was on the NHL network. Yes I know that the NCAA college basketball tournament games were on. But the NHL and NBC dropped the ball on this regardless of the outcome.

    • bobc74 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      NBC drops the ball all season long! They want better ratings during the week on primetime. Why not devote 1 night a week to a hockey game? Look how big the ratings are for Sunday Night Football. Let’s go, NBC! The NHL gave your broadcast network an exclusive TV contract, do something with it!

      • blackheart78 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        @bobc74 I totally agree. At some point they are going to have to step up. Yea they may end up taking egg on the face but at least show some guts and show the country what you have.

    • blackheart78 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      So…………..people that gave me a thumbs down do not want to see this game on nationally? Hmmm… that’s make sense.

      • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM

        There’s a lot of B’s fans in the section that are ‘trolling’ (though I hate the term because all opinions are ok, even stupid ones)…they take exception to you saying the Pens could make the finals…nothing more than that. It was a good game, Elliot played great, both teams were riled up!

  14. bsfan77 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    If Cindy wants more respect in the leauge, he should stop crying to the refs after every play.

    • cheesesteak75 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      I remember watching my first game too.

      • bsfan77 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        I have played in more games then you have watched

      • handsofsweed - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        No you haven’t b’s fan. Well, maybe you have. In high school. 17 years ago. Maybe.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      You’re just embarassing yourself at this point – your opinions are ok, everyone’s are, but when you come to a site about professional hockey players and pull the “you don’t know anything about hockey and I have been a hockey player all my life and trust me you don’t know hockey like I know hockey”…especially when your comments just don’t make any damn sense…well, it’s embarassing for the Boston fans that actually might have legitimate opinions.

  15. slaugin - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    I think Crosby has plenty of respect from the league and I don’t think he cares about fans of other teams that hate on top players in the league. This is coming from a non Pitt fan btw

    • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      you actually just told them something they didnt know thats the worst part about what you said.

  16. broadstreetbeatdown - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Looks like the Pens are getting cold at the wrong time.

    • c9castine - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      when, 12 games before the playoffs? sounds like the right time to me…

      i know how this team works. if we win 15 games in march, well go cold in april. if we win 7 games in march, well shred april…maybe longer.

      im not at all worried about losing a few games right now as long as they play like that.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        Too many injuries, not enough depth and role players. Crosby, Malkin and Neal can’t carry this team deep into the playoffs. There is also the fact that when the Pens get streaky going into the playoffs it tends to get into MAF’s head and he turns into a basket case.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Looks that way – but anyone that knows them knows that they have one of these slides in them per year – they may actually NEED it. This is the perfect time.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        much rather it happen now than go on a win streak now and then have the inevitable loss happen in april. then you spend the last week trying to fix the problem, overthinking and before you know it you lose 2 or 3 going into the playoffs. timing is perfect right now and the schedule being tough the rest of the month works too, no better way to figure it out than against the better teams in the league.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      I wouldn’t say going cold – the Pens are, unfortunately, resigned to living and dying by the power play right now until they can get a little healthier. If they don’t get Letang and Martin back, as well as having Bennett step into the fold and play well, this team is going to have serious issues in April and May.

      I have to say, this is why you bank the points early on in the season when you can. Luckily I don’t think the Flyguys or the Blueshirts are in a position to challenge for the Metro division title, however that wouldn’t be the case if the Pens hadn’t been so solid early.

  17. penguins87and71 - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    I’m done arguing with these Boston and Philadelphia fools, you guys are going to think whatever you want to think, so I’m not going to waste my time.

    • laxman1944 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:28 PM

      oh come on…….Don’t be like that

      • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        hahaha that was an awesome response :)

  18. muckleflugga - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    chanceoffleury

    great post yet again … do you play

    if you don’t you demonstrate great understanding and feel for what rates in real-world hockey time and time again

    refreshing

    • flyersfan85 - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      You really base a persons ability to use logic and base an opinion on whether they have actually done/played whatever they are basing that opinion on?

      So you cant ever talk about space, government, auto racing, cullinary cooking, blah..blah..blah..

      If any of those thingsnis your profession just substitute anything that isnt..and it will make more sense..

      Valid..very..and..

      Refreshing..

      • handsofsweed - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        GD!!! That’s TWO Flyer fans that called out d-bags trolling Pens fans. There is hope for world peace, after all! I’ll give you this: Voracek is a for real SOB.

  19. flyersfan85 - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Good game Pens. You showed us in the east how to handle the best that the west has to offer..wait..that was the other PA team..first the Hawks..then the Blues. Man the Flyers suck as they are tanking the hardest of their calendar this year. But in your defense (Pens fans) they must have been short of their NHL caliber roster (eh, toiletclown) players on their roster.

    Sorry..i know the Flyers suck forever, havent done anything this year, and arent a threat at all..and.yes 1975.

    I will downthumb myself as this is PensNation and want to deny you that first, crisp, and much anticipated privilege..

    See ya on the greens..

    • flyersfan85 - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Whoohooo..first one b1tches..

      • handsofsweed - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:41 PM

        You broke my heart, Fredo.

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