Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/7/12
After winning four consecutive games over San Jose and escaping the first round of the NHL playoffs, the Blues were eliminated in four straight against the Los Angeles Kings, bowing out in the Western Conference semifinals Sunday. They fell 3-1 to L.A., which dominated the series in every aspect. The Blues managed only six goals against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and were 0-for-17 on the power play. But more glaringly, the Blues were suspect on defense and in net, which were calling cards for the team during the regular season. "Before the series, we were taking about being a mirror image of each other and how similar our styles were," Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said. "They played the game that we wanted to and we just didn't elevate our level to what they were doing." The Blues also shot themselves in the foot many times in the series. They took five penalties in Sunday's finale, all in the offensive zone, and averaged the second-most penalty minutes per game in the playoffs so far at 23.6. "The biggest thing looking back on this series is the personal shift-by-shift (lack of) discipline when it gets really ramped up," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "If you look at Games 1, 2 and 4, we had a lot of penalties that took us off the power play or allowed them to keep momentum." The Blues had 24 shots in Sunday's game, outshooting the Kings 13-3 in the second period, but they couldn't find a way to crack Quick in the series. Including the regular season, he held the Blues to seven goals in seven games. "Even as well as we played (Sunday), you still have to outwork the goalie," Hitchcock said. "We have not found a way to outwork him. He made maybe five, six unbelievable saves off the second shot. But that's who he is. He never quits on a puck and we weren't able to put it through him." The Blues didn't quit, but they simply weren't a match for the high-powered Kings, who have now knocked off the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks and second-seeded Blues. "We have a lot of time to think about it," Blues forward Chris Stewart said. "We're a young team and we learned from a team like L.A., which showed us what it takes to get onto the Western Conference finals. We're back next year and the biggest thing is to remember the feeling." NOTES, QUOTES Home provided no advantage in postseason --The Blues finished 2-2 on the road in the playoffs after Sunday's 3-1 loss to L.A. at Staples Center. They were 2-2-1 at home, after going 30-6-5 at Scottrade Center during the regular season. "As much as we played really well here, we lost the series at home," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I don't think we played as well at home during the whole playoffs as we did during the regular season. So that's something we've got to address from a focus standpoint." --When the season is over, typically that is when NHL teams reveal the specifics of their injured players. The Blues acknowledged having a few injured players after Sunday's loss in Los Angeles, but they declined to share the details of the individual ailments. "I hate (telling the injuries because it's almost like, 'Well, if we didn't have injuries, we would have been a lot better,'" Blues captain David Backes said. "Well, there's injuries all year and you've got to find ways to play through it and find ways to overcome it. Those are the little hurdles that you overcome individually and you suck up some pain for the better of the team. If a list of injuries comes out, I'm not going to very happy." QUOTE TO NOTE: "They're the best team we've played against. L.A. plays the way you have to play to win the (Stanley) Cup now." -- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock after being swept by the Kings in four games in the Western Conference semifinals. ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES: --D Kevin Shattenkirk tallied his first career playoff goal in Game 4 and it turned out to be the team's only goal in a 3-1 loss to L.A. Shattenkirk's slap shot, beating Jonathan Quick, was one of only six goals for the Blues in the series. --RW Ryan Reaves returned to the Blues' lineup for Game 4 after sitting out as a healthy scratch for seven games. He had four of the Blues' 45 hits in 7:32 of ice time. --G Brian Elliott struggled with the weight of the team on his shoulders following the injury to Jaroslav Halak in the first round against San Jose. Elliott was strong against the Sharks, but he surrendered 13 goals in four games against L.A.
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