OTTAWA - Anders Nilsson took the blame for the Ottawa Senators staying winless to start the season
Nilsson stopped 31 shots in his first start of the campaign as Ottawa fell to the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 6-4 on Thursday night.
"It's a lot of goals I feel like I want back," said Nilsson. "If I do a better job on my part and do my job a little better, we would have had the two points."
Vitaly Abramov, Artem Anisimov, Chris Tierney and Anthony Duclair replied for the Senators (0-3-0), who are off to their worst-ever start after losing their third straight game in regulation.
Overall the Senators played a stronger, harder game and had a chance to win, but in the end came up short.
"I thought we did a good job half the game," said Tierney. "Sometimes we were putting the puck in, getting pucks deep, getting on the forecheck and creating plays and other times we were careless with it and it ends up in the back of our net. We've got to clean up some areas defensively."
David Perron scored twice, including his 200th NHL career goal, to lead the Blues, while Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and three assists.
Oskar Sundqvist, Jay Bouwmeester and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Blues (3-0-1) as Jake Allen, making his season debut, made 25 saves.
The Blues outscored the Senators 4-1 in the third period to take the win.
Bouwmeester scored early in the third to tie the game 3-3 and Schenn gave the Blues its first lead at the 12-minute mark taking advantage of a giveaway. Duclair tied the game for the Senators as he took a pass in the slot to beat Allen.
The Blues took advantage of an odd-man rush and Tyler Bozak found Perron, who made no mistake, tucking the puck in for his second of the night, while O'Reilly sealed the game with an empty-net goal.
"We just seemed to get a couple bounces," said O'Reilly. "Last year it felt like at the beginning of the year every kind of bounce that could go wrong did and we couldn't find a way to close games out, but it's a different year and we've improved."
This is the third come-from-behind win for the Blues this season.
"I think we're just confident and know that we're going to have a chance," said O'Reilly. "Obviously, our goaltending has been outstanding and we know they're going to shut the door and for us when we get to our game, we know we're going to get opportunities and we've done a good of capitalizing on them at the right times."
Trailing 2-0, Perron got the Blues on the board with a power-play goal midway through the second.
The Blues tied the game as Sundqvist grabbed a loose puck off the faceoff and got a wrist shot off to beat Nilsson low glove side. The Senators regained the lead late in the period as Tierney, with his first of the season, scored shorthanded.
Tierney played 15:27 and won 77 per cent of his faceoffs Thursday night and earned the praise of head coach D.J. Smith for his performance.
"Chris is such a smart player and he might have been our best player (Thursday) overall, he was one of them, anyway," said Smith. "He's going to move up and down (the lineup). I thought he won faceoffs, he was really good on the penalty kill so I'll use him all over the place, but he's one of the smartest players we have."
Ottawa took a 2-0 lead in the final minute of the first period as Anisimov fired a one-timer from the slot for his first with the Senators. Vladislav Namestnikov, acquired Monday by Ottawa, had an assist on the play.
The Senators opened the scoring midway through the first as Scott Sabourin fed Abramov, who had a wide-open net, for his first NHL goal.
Notes: Ottawa D Cody Goloubef and LW Mikkel Boedker were a healthy scratch. The Blues were without C Robert Thomas (upper body), while D Carl Gunnarsson and LW Mackenzie MacEachern were a healthy scratch.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2019.