Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Beat the Flyers in a Shootout; BLUES 1, FLYERS 0

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Beat the Flyers in a Shootout; BLUES 1, FLYERS 0

Article excerpt

The Blues matched the franchise record for victories in a season Tuesday night at Scottrade Center, and they did so in style.

In one of the most exciting games of the season, the Note beat the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 in a shootout before 18,647.

After 65 minutes of a scoreless standoff, Olympic shooting star T.J. Oshie began the shootout session with his ninth SO goal in 12 attempts.

With that 1-0 edge, Blues netminder Ryan Miller stopped Vincent Lecavalier and Claude Giroux in succession before defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk beat Flyers goalie Ray Emery to end the struggle.

After a disappointing loss to Dallas on Saturday, Miller showed Blues fans what all the excitement was about when he was acquired in a trade March 1.

He stopped 31 shots, often in spectacular fashion, to get his first Blues shutout and 29th career whitewash.

"He was terrific," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He was focused and competitive and whatever else we needed him to be ... We needed him badly today.

"He stood tall. This was a game that was 1-0 in overtime (shootout) and it could have been 7-6, easily."

In the 46-year history of the franchise, this Blues team (51-17- 7) became the second to reach 51 wins, matching the total achieved by the 1999-2000 Blues, a team coached by Joel Quenneville and quarterbacked by Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger.

It should be pointed out this edition has captured nine of its 51 wins via overtime-shootouts, a tiebreaking vehicle that did not exist before 2005. The 1999-200 team had 11 ties.

Shattenkirk is now three for six in shootouts, which pales to Oshie's mark. But it ain't bad for a defenseman.

"It's exciting," Shattenkirk said. "Every kid grows up wanting to win the game in those moments. When you finally get the opportunity, it's really something you hope to cherish and make the most of."

One thing is certain, win No. 51 was one of the most hard-earned of the season. And for Miller, it was redemption.

"It comes on the heels of a couple of games where I've been trying to re-establish and bounce back and be in the form I need to be in," Miller said.

"It was a fun night. When the puck is hitting you it's a lot of fun."

The Flyers came in having lost three of their last four, after putting together a five-game winning streak. They set a fast, physical pace from the outset, giving the proceedings a playoff ambiance.

With the help of some loose play by the Blues, the visitors had several high-quality chances in the first three minutes. The best came when Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo got tangled up and the Flyers broke in alone on Miller, three abreast.

Miller read the passwork and stopped a point-blank shot by Michael Raffl to foil the attack, one of many special goaltending moments on the evening. Flyers netminder Emery was matching the performance save for save.

The Blues rebounded somewhat to outshoot the Flyers 11-10 in the first period. …

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