Game Report: Blues 3, Kings 1

By Nicholas Hand

The Blues extended their winning streak to five games and their lead over the Los Angeles Kings for a playoff spot to five points Monday night with a win highlighted by goaltender Jake Allen.

Allen made 38 saves, including 21 in the second period, in a dazzling performance as he frustrated the Kings for most of the night.

David Perron, Magnus Paajarvi and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, who improved their record to 36-27-5 (77 points.). The loss dropped the Kings to 33-29-6 (72 points) as both teams fight for the second wildcard position in the Western Conference.

The win also moved the Blues two points behind the third-seeded Nashville Predators in the Central Division and the Edmonton Oilers, who currently hold the first wildcard position in the conference.

Perron’s goal broke the deadlock at 13:37 of the second period for his 14th of the season. Perron buried a second chance opportunity as an outstretched Jonathan Quick was unable to control the rebound from the initial shot following a Steen pass.

St. Louis extended the lead to 2-0 on Paajarvi’s fifth of the season on the power play just 1:10 into the third period following a Marian Gaborik tripping minor 18 seconds earlier. A loose puck following a shot by Alex Pietrangelo came to Patrik Berglund who fired a wrist shot that deflected off Paajarvi at the side of the goal mouth and into the net.

Down two goals, the Kings pulled Quick for an extra attacker with more than three minutes remaining in regulation. The move paid off with Dustin Brown’s 11th goal of the season with 2:55 remaining in the contest.

Brown flipped a rebound over Allen and Pietrangelo after Allen dove for a puck at the top of the crease with heavy traffic in front of the net. Pietrangelo’s skate inadvertently moved the puck out of Allen’s reach allowing Brown to corral the puck with his stick.

The Blues defense withstood the late attack for the remainder of the game and Steen buried an empty net goal for his 14th of the season following a pass from Pietrangelo with just 7 seconds left in the game.

Of Note: Dmitrij Jaskin left the game with an upper-body injury after a collision with defenseman Robert Bortuzzo in the second period… Jaden Schwartz’s four-game point streak came to an end but he led all Blues skaters with 22:57 of ice-time registering two shots on net, four blocks, and one takeaway in an impressive performance. Blues center Jori Lehtera did not travel with the team to Los Angeles after taking a puck to the face last Friday against the Ducks and sustaining an upper-body injury.

Looking Ahead:
The Blues continue their five-game road trip on Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks.