SAINT LOUIS – Brian Elliott made 24 saves Saturday night against the Sharks, and Kevin Shattenkirk netted the game’s only goal as the Blues emerged victorious over the Sharks in a 1-0 defensive battle.
Special teams were the difference maker for the Blues—the team killed off six Shark power plays and scored on their own first period chance. The GWG originated off of an uneventful set-up. Blues forward Jason Arnott bobbled the puck near the top of the left circle, then passed the puck low in the zone to David Perron. Perron slid the puck across the zone to Kevin Shattenkirk, who walked the puck into the right circle and fired a shot past Antti Niemi while David Backes stood on the doorstep.
Moving forward, Ken Hitchcock must make a tough decision concerning his goaltending tandem. Elliott and Jaroslav Halak have both played exceptionally well this season. With Saturday’s victory, Elliott improves to 12-2 with a 1.45 GAA and .947 Sv %. Though Halak is the technical “#1,” it’s hard not to play a guy putting up those kinds of numbers. Elliott secured the Blues’ win Saturday night, and has done everything possible to challenge Halak for the #1 spot.
In addition to Elliott, the whole Blues’ team is enjoying a surge of success. Since Hitchcock replaced Davis Payne, the Blues are 11-2-3 and are currently amidst the top teams in the west.
Saturday night’s game was Perron’s first against the Sharks, whose captain Joe Thornton dished out the hit that left Perron unable to compete for over a year. Thornton was welcomed to St. Louis by Shattenkirk, who threw a massive hit against Thornton in the second period.
The Blues will enjoy several days off before their next meeting. The Blues host the New York Rangers Thursday night at 7 p.m. CST on Fox Sports Midwest.
Odds & Ends
- Vladimir Sobotka appeared to be injured in the first period of the game after going into the boards hard. However, the feisty forward returned to play shortly after being evaluated and finished the game.
- Matt D’Agostini was rocked in the third period by Jamie McGinn. He left the game with an undisclosed shoulder injury and did not return. After the game, D’Agostini told the media he’s “fine,” but will likely be reevaluated within the next day or two.
- Sources say Matthew Hulsizer’s purchase of the Blues could be finalized in the next week. Stay tuned.