– Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
After scoring just two goals in the past two games, St. Louis scored three goals in the final period of regulation to shut out the Dallas Stars, 3-0.
With the win, the Blues improve to 44-20-5 and are tied with the Nashville Predators with 93 points for the lead in the Central Division.
Going into the game, St. Louis had the 11th best penalty kill in the NHL at 82.2 percent but kept Dallas off the scoreboard despite being down a man six times in the game.
After Brian Elliott allowed three goals on just 19 shots, Head Coach Ken Hitchcock went with Jake Allen in net. For Allen, this was his first start since Mar. 1 against Vancouver. Allen recorded a 28-save shutout for his fourth shutout of the season.
The 24-year-old netminder got off to a hot start stopping all 16 shots faced through two periods of play. Allen turned aside a quality power play opportunity from Dallas’s leading goal-scorer Tyler Seguin with 6:19 remaining in the second period. Seguin controlled play along the left circle and fired a shot in on Allen with Vernon Fiddler in front. Allen made the stop to help keep the game scoreless.
St. Louis also had its chances in the opening two periods including an opportunity in the first four minutes of the game from T.J. Oshie who weaved his way into the zone and ripped a shot just off Kari Lehtonen’s stick.
Despite the lack of scoring, St. Louis’s leading goal scorer Vladamir Tarasenko broke the 0-0 draw early in the third period. After a pair of penalties and a four-on-four, Paul Stastny passed to Tarasenko who skated across the blue line and then into the high slot. Tarasenko fired a shot low past Lehtonen for his 34th goal of the season with 13:34 remaining in the period.
Tarasenko’s 34 goals ties him for fourth in the league in goals and seventh in points. The last time a member of the Blues has finished in the top 10 in the NHL in points was in the 2002-2003 season when Pavol Demitra finished sixth with 93 points.
The goals kept coming for St. Louis later in the period. This time with the man advantage, Alex Pietrangelo set up Alexander Steen on a one-time attempt. Steen beat Lehtonen for his second-straight season with at least 20 goals.
T.J. Oshie added a bit of security for the Blues with a late goal off the feed from Stastny and Pietrangelo. The goal helped seal the victory for St. Louis.
The Blues will continue their six-game road trip Tuesday, Mar. 17 at 8 p.m. CT. against the Calgary Flames.