PHOENIX – The Blues extended their lead over the Western Conference Sunday night with a 4-0 victory over the Coyotes, extending their season point total to 103.
After shutting out Los Angeles in Thursday night’s loss to the Kings, Brian Elliott was given the nod in net. He stopped 20 shots, clinching his second shutout in as many starts.
Elliott and Blues starter Jaroslav Halak have now combined for 14 shutouts on the season, breaking the previous tandem franchise record of 13 (Jacques Plante, Glenn Hall in 1968-69). Elliott and Halak are the first tandem in NHL history to each achieve at least six shutouts in a season.
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo also had a memorable night—he scored the game winning goal, his 12th goal of the season, setting a new single-season high in goals. His marker was accompanied by three third period goals from David Backes, Patrik Berglund, and Ryan Reaves.
Kevin Shattenkirk finished the evening with three assists. Pietrangelo is now third among all NHL defenseman in scoring with 48 points. Behind him, Shattenkirk has 41.
Ken Hitchcock switched up his defensive pairings in this game, putting Barret Jackman and Pietrangelo together. Hitchcock wants this pairing to become familiar before the playoffs, where he intends to play them as the top pair.
Additionally, Hitchcock paired stay-at-home defenseman Kent Huskins with puck-mover Shattenkirk, and a now healthy Kris Russell with Carlo Colaiacovo. When Roman Polak returns from a severe knee bruise, Huskins will become the extra defender.
This game marked the return of Alex Steen and Russell after both missed time for concussions. The Blues are still awaiting the return of Matt D’Agostini, Andy McDonald, and Polak. All three could potentially be reinserted as early as Tuesday, when the Blues take on the Nashville Predators at home. The game airs at 7 P.M. CST on Fox Sports Midwest.