Forget the Stanley Cup. What the Blues need now is a cup of coffee. Caffeinated.
The club was caught sleep-skating again in the first period Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks, who absorbed a third-period surge from the Blues and held on for a 5-2 victory at Scottrade Center.

The crowd of 17,646, however, was all too familiar with the desperation act. That routine and a few bucks will get you a cup of coffee. Well, on second thought ...

“I think it’s the same for every game,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When you don’t have a mindset of checking, then that affects your competitive level ... when your mindset is something other than checking to start with, that affects everything. It’s been the same.”

The Blues have been outscored 9-1 in the first period of its last four games. On a recent road trip, they fell behind San Jose 4-0 in a 6-3 loss and Los Angeles 3-0 in a 3-2 defeat, and the pattern continued Saturday as the Blues spotted Anaheim a 4-0 advantage.

The club wasn’t spotted again Saturday until the third period, when Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz teased fans with two goals before the Ducks added an empty-netter.

The Blues lost in regulation for the third time in four games after dropping only three games in regulation through 24 games. It marked just the second time this season that the Blues have lost in regulation at Scottrade Center and snapped their 10-game point-streak at home.

The Blues will attempt to bounce back on the road, traveling to play Winnipeg Tuesday. The recent trend will have to change if the Blues expect a different result.

“It’s the third time that happened to us against a good team,” Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka said. “We won against the Islanders. They don’t have the high expectations. We’re losing against good teams. We have to figure out how to play against them.”

The Blues’ slow starts could actually include Thursday’s 5-1 win over the Islanders. The club held a 1-0 lead over the Isles, but had just nine shots on goal through 27 minutes before busting the game open.