Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Allen, Blues Blank Predators

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Allen, Blues Blank Predators

Article excerpt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. * The Blues' power play is much improved, its defense killed five power plays including 91 seconds of five-on- three action, but nothing got the Blues' attention as much as the play of Jake Allen on Saturday night.

Allen made a career-high 45 saves in posting his seventh career NHL shutout in a 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators that was a one- goal game until early in the third period. Every time Nashville seemed to take the lead or get even, there was Allen, gobbling up shots or diving to swat them away and the Blues won for the fifth time in six games.

"Unbelievable," said Blues defenseman Colton Parayko of Allen. "He played phenomenal. It was unreal."

"It's fun to watch," said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. "But we can't give up 45 chances every night."

No they can't, and cutting back on the five-on-threes might be a good idea too. But the Blues have found a way to score, getting two power-play goals in a game for the first time this season and they followed up a six-goal game in Chicago with a four-goal game in Nashville. That's two weeks' worth of offense for this team before.

"This game is goaltending and the power play," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's how you win on the road. The last couple of games on the road we've given up too many scoring chances but Jake's been stellar. To win on the road, you need to win special teams and that's what we did. We did it in Chicago, and we did it again tonight. Without the goaltending display we had, especially in the first two periods we held it together and started to play better in the third period."

The Blues got goals from Parayko, Pietrangelo, Scottie Upshall and Alexander Steen, the last three coming in the third period. Steen had a goal and an assist and Scott Gomez had two assists, on the power-play goals by Parayko and Pietrangelo.

The Blues had failed to score on 22 straight power plays before scoring on Wednesday at Chicago, and after scoring in their first chance on Saturday, their streak was at two straight. This one was the end result of a picture perfect sequence of passes, with two from Gomez down low and capped by Troy Brouwer feeding the puck from the right circle to an unattended Parayko in the left circle, where he had an open net that his quick wrist shot could not miss. The assist ran Brouwer's point streak against Nashville to seven games.

Parayko's goal was his fifth of the season and his second on a power play.

The star of the show, though, was Allen, who pulled out all the stops to stop Nashville. The situation was at its hairiest when Nashville had a five-on-three for 80 seconds in the second period after penalties on Magnus Paajarvi and Kyle Brodziak. Nashville had five shots on goal, two from defenseman Shea Weber.

"That was a tough spot," Allen said. "If they get a couple goals, it's a different game completely. I told myself to do the best we could to kill that off and we did that. …

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