Allen, Blues shut down Stars
ST. LOUIS — Jake Allen recorded his first shutout of the season Thursday night but also came away with something he valued more.
“It’s another win in a divisional game,” the St. Louis Blues goalie said. “That’s more important.”
Allen stopped all 29 Dallas shots, and the Blues got power-play goals from Brayden Schenn and Colton Parayko before Vladimir Tarasenko’s empty-net goal completed a 3-0 victory over the Stars.
“You look at it right now and you are probably looking at both wild cards coming out of the Central, which is pretty crazy if you get five teams in the playoffs from one division, “Allen said. “It’s tough. Every point is crucial for us.
“There’s still lots of games left, but at the end of the day, they all matter.”
The Blues (19-8-2) improved their record against division opponents to 5-1-1. The Stars (16-12-1) fell to 4-8-0 in the division, including an 0-6-0 record against the top three teams — the Winnipeg Jets, Blues and Nashville Predators — game which they were outscored 25-8.
“We’re not happy with it,” Stars forward Alexander Radulov said. “We’re going to have to try and prove ourselves. Something went wrong; we have to figure it out. It’s not good either, so we just have to figure it out and win those games. It’s important for the future, it’s important for now.”
Allen earned his 16th career shutout and his third in 11 games against the Stars.
“Jake played outstanding and made some big saves at big times and kept us in the game,” Parayko said. “We wanted to lock it down for him.”
Allen protected a 1-0 lead after Schenn’s power-play goal at 13:39 of the first period until Parayko added another goal 5:01 into the third period.
The two power-play goals came on seven chances for the Blues, who had a five-on-three advantage for 1:14 but could not add to their 1-0 lead.
The Blues were called for only two penalties, one of which came in the closing seconds.
“We took too many penalties, and you can’t do that if you want to win,” Radulov said. “Everybody has to just look in the mirror, all of us. It’s enough talking. I think we just have to show up and play.”
The Stars thought they had tied the game at 1 at the end of the second period, but a video review confirmed the puck went into the net after time expired.
“We knew special teams were going to be important tonight,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “We did a good job of being disciplined and staying out of the box. I thought we played tight and really did a good job through the neutral zone. Moving our feet. When you do that, you force teams to hook, hold, high-stick, whatever the case is. When you are moving your feet, that’s when you are dangerous.”
Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said the reason for all of his team’s penalties was obvious.
“We took the penalties because we were second to the puck,” Hitchcock said. “We just got beat and had poor stick positioning. We took away any momentum we started to build.”
St. Louis improved to 15-0 when leading after the second period.
The Blues know they have not performed as well on the power play as they would like, ranking 22nd in the league coming into the Thursday game, but they hope this is a step in the right direction.
“We had chances, and at the end of the day, we got two, which is nice, but we’ve got a lot to clean up and improve,” Schenn said. “Execution needs to be better.”
NOTES: Both teams recalled goalies to serve as backups for the game because of injuries. Dallas G Ben Bishop did not make the trip to St. Louis because of a sore back, so the Stars recalled St. Louis native Mike McKenna from AHL Texas. The Blues brought up Ville Husso from AHL San Antonio after Carter Hutton sustained a lower-body injury. Local G Tyler Stewart signed an amateur tryout agreement with St. Louis and participated in warm-ups while Husso was en route from San Antonio, arriving in the middle of the first period. ... The Blues also assigned RW Sammy Blais to San Antonio. ... The Blues play at Detroit on Saturday while the Stars return home to play the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.