Steen’s four points help Blues snuff Flames
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues restored the power to its power play.
Alexander Steen had a goal and three assists, and Paul Stastny added a goal and an assist as the Blues beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Jaden Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo and Joel Edmundson also scored for the Blues (7-2-1), who improved to 3-0-0 at home. Goalie Jake Allen made 23 saves.
More importantly for St. Louis, the Blues went 2-for-3 on the power play, snapping a 0-for-18 drought.
“We simplified things a little bit more,” Steen said. “We were more direct with the way we played and I think we were a step quicker. I think all those things contributed to us getting more goals and obviously more chances.”
Steen’s presence also made a difference as he finally got his first points of the season. The left winger was playing in his fourth game after breaking his hand in the Blues’ preseason opener Sept. 19.
“It was tough having Steener have that injury because I thought he looked really good in training camp,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s a step quicker this year. I thought he did a heck of a job in the summer coming in in really good shape and you could tell that the training, the focus he had in the summer, that he was a motivated hockey player.”
Mikael Backlund scored both Flames goals as Calgary (5-5-0) lost for the third time in four games.
Flames goalie Eddie Lack, playing for the first time this season, made 24 saves. It was his first career loss to the Blues after winning his previous six games against St. Louis.
“I’ve definitely had some good games here and some games we had really good team games when I’ve been here with other teams so it’s just one of those things,” Lack said. “It’s too bad we couldn’t keep the streak going.”
After Backlund opened the scoring, Steen tied the game 1-1 with 2:33 left in the opening period.
Schwartz backhanded in a rebound to give the Blues a 2-1 lead at 4:07 of the second period. It was the Blues’ first power-play goal since Oct. 12.
Pietrangelo made it 3-1 at 6:53 of the second with another power-play goal. Pietrangelo’s fourth goal gave him 12 points, the most among defensemen in the league.
“I’m just trying to shoot the puck and keep that shoot first mentality and make plays,” Pietrangelo said. “When things start rolling you feel confident. I think we’re clicking offensively all of us are, so we need to keep that simple mindset.”
It was the second straight game in which Calgary, playing the second of a back-to-back, gave up two goals on the penalty kill.
“When you’re playing back-to-back (games) you’re penalty kill has to be better,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. “Our penalty kill quite frankly doesn’t look anything near what it should and we’ve got to clean that area up because tonight it put us in a hole and we couldn’t get out of it.”
Backlund scored his second of the game and fourth of the season at 13:15 of the second period before Stastny’s goal at 16:28 of the third gave the Blues some breathing room.
On his second goal, Backlund took advantage of an Allen miscue to cut the Blues’ lead to 3-2. Allen lost his footing trying to play a puck behind the net, allowing winger Matthew Tkachuk to find Backlund in front of a wide-open net.
It was Backlund’s 10th career multi-goal game.
Tkachuk finished with a pair of assists for the Flames.
NOTES: D Nate Prosser and RW Beau Bennett made their debuts for the Blues. Prosser was filling in for D Carl Gunnarsson, who became a father Wednesday, and Bennett played on a line with LW Magnus Paajarvi and C Oskar Sundqvist. ... Flames LW Matthew Tkachuk grew up in St. Louis, as his father, Keith, played nine seasons for the Blues. ... Flames G Mike Smith earned career win No. 200 against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. ... The Blues scratched Gunnarsson and RW Dmitrij Jaskin. The Flames scratched LW Tanner Glass, C Freddie Hamilton and D Matt Bartkowski. ... The Blues travel to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. The Flames play at home against the Dallas Stars on Friday.