December 19, 2019 / 4:34 AM / a month ago

Blues' Allen tops Oilers for rare home win

EditorsNote: A few minor tweaks throughout

Dec 10, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Fans greet Buffalo Sabres left wing Victor Olofsson (68) as he makes his way to the ice before a game against the St. Louis Blues at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen enjoyed rare home-ice success in a 2-1 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Allen made 35 saves to earn his first victory at Enterprise Center since Jan. 3, and the Blues completed a sweep of their four-game homestand. Brayden Schenn and Mackenzie MacEachern scored goals to support him.

James Neal scored and Mikko Koskinen stopped 42 of 44 shots for the Oilers, who have just three victories in their past 11 games (3-7-1).

Allen made 20 of his previous 21 starts on the road, dating to last season, when he lost the starting job to Jordan Binnington. In the 2018-19 season, he posted an .878 save percentage and 3.65 goals-against average at home and produced vastly better ratios (.924, 2.26) on the road. He had lost his only previous home start this season before Wednesday.

The Blues outshot the Oilers 15-10 during a busy first period in which both teams created multiple scoring chances. Troy Brouwer, who joined the St. Louis lineup with Tyler Bozak ill, came closest to scoring with an early shot off the inside of the right post.

The Oilers killed off a five-on-three Blues power-play in the second period but fell behind 1-0 at 8:04 when Vince Dunn fed Schenn for a clean break-in on Koskinen at even strength. Schenn collected his 15th goal of the season.

Later in the period, Blues forward Robert Thomas rang a power-play shot off the crossbar, then Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson kept the score 1-0 by blocking Justin Faulk’s shot toward an otherwise open net.

On another near miss, St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz poked a point-blank shot through Koskinen’s pads, only to see the netminder reach back and stop the puck at the goal line.

The Blues finally boosted their lead to 2-0 with 13:37 to play in the third period. Ryan O’Reilly pivoted with the puck behind the net and fed MacEachern breaking to the goal, and MacEachern netted his sixth goal of the season.

Neal cut the lead to 1:50 left with his 16th goal. He redirected the puck into the net after teammate Zack Kassian ran into Allen, who left the crease to play the puck.

The unsuccessful Blues challenge allowed the Oilers to finish the game on the power play, but Edmonton failed to tie the score.

—Field Level Media

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