EditorsNote: Updates Blues’ lead over Avs to 2 points in Graf 2; other minor edits
Defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Pietrangelo had goals and Jake Allen posted a 29-save shutout to boost the visiting St. Louis Blues to a 2-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night for the team’s ninth win in its past 10 games.
Jaden Schwartz added two assists for the Blues (41-18-10), who maintained their Central Division lead of two points over the Colorado Avalanche while earning a season sweep of the archrival Blackhawks for the first time in franchise history during the regular season.
Chicago (31-30-8) lost its second straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak. The Blackhawks remain six points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot with 13 games remaining.
St. Louis opened the scoring at 6:41 of the second period as Bortuzzo lifted a shot from a sharp angle past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for his second goal of the season. Brayden Schenn and Schwartz had assists on the play, as the Blues’ forecheck kept the puck alive amid a scramble in front of the Chicago net.
Pietrangelo provided a valuable cushion with a power-play goal at 5:37 of the third period, striking from a similar angle after the Blackhawks were unable to clear the zone.
Allen blanked the Blackhawks at United Center for the second time this season to earn the 21st shutout of his career. He stopped seven shots in the first period, 13 in the second and nine in the third.
Schenn extended his point streak to seven games, and has nine points — including five goals — in that span. Chicago’s Patrick Kane saw a three-game point streak end.
Power-play struggles again doomed the Blackhawks. Chicago went 0 for 4 with the man advantage against St. Louis and has not scored on its past 14 power plays overall, a drought covering the team’s past five games.
Making his ninth consecutive start, Crawford helped keep the Blackhawks afloat by stopping 24 of 26 shots.
Fans at the United Center alternated “Let’s go Blues/Let’s go Hawks” chants for much of the night. A fight between St. Louis’ Vince Dunn and Drake Caggiula of Chicago at 14:59 of the second period prompted raucous reactions from backers of both sides.
Defenseman Adam Boqvist returned to the lineup for Chicago after missing Friday’s loss at Detroit because of a right wrist injury. St. Louis defender Justin Faulk missed his second successive game with an upper-body injury.
Boqvist later left the game along with Caggiula, who injured his right hand.
The Blues defeated the Blackhawks at Chicago 4-0 on Dec. 2 before sweeping the next two games in St. Louis, edging Chicago 4-3 on Dec. 14 and 6-5 on Feb. 25.
—Field Level Media