(Reuters) - Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby failed to find the same explosive form that marked his return to NHL action earlier this week and was held without a point as the Penguins lost 3-2 in overtime to St Louis on Wednesday.
Sidelined for more than 10 months after sustaining a concussion, Crosby showed ice hockey fans what they had been missing with two goals and two assists in his comeback game against the New York Islanders.
On Wednesday, however, the Blues kept the 24-year-old Canadian quiet and earned the win on Alex Pietrangelo's goal in overtime.
"I had a couple of chances and bobbled one and missed a pass with another," Crosby told reporters after finishing the game without a point. "And just whether it was rust or not being ready or focused, whatever it was, that's not good enough."
Scott Nichol gave St Louis a 1-0 lead in the first period before Steve Sullivan tied the game early in the third.
Jamie Langenbrunner's wrist shot midway through the period put the Blues back in front but James Neal scored his 13th goal of the season to knot the score at 2-2 and send the game into the extra session.
Defenseman Pietrangelo delivered the game-winner at 4:07 in overtime to give the Blues the win over the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins.
Pittsburgh (12-6-4) goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had 40 saves in the loss while Brian Elliott finished with 31 saves to win his fourth consecutive start for the Blues (11-8-2).
St Louis improved to 5-2-1 under new coach Ken Hitchcock, who took over from the fired Davis Payne earlier this month.
"We played the two best periods we've played all year, did everything we needed to do except extend the lead, then we were in a track meet in the third period," Hitchcock said.
"To play this well and this hard, it would have been disappointing to not get two points."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)