SAINT LOUIS – Goaltender Brian Elliott earned his third shutout of the year as he and the Blues cooled off the Calgary Flames on Friday night. David Backes’s short-handed goal in the first period proved to be enough as the Blues won 2-0, moving to 6-1-2 under Ken Hitchcock.
Ryan Reaves and Tim Jackman made things interesting in the first period as the two engaged in a spirited battle that set the tone for the game.
Halfway through the first period, the Blues were called for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. On the Flames’ power play, Kevin Shattenkirk disrupted the Flames’ flow, poking the puck to the neutral zone. Backes outmaneuvered three Flames players and beat Miikka Kiprusoff to the glove side to put the Blues on top 1-0.
The Flames had chances to counter. Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrison, and Alex Tanguay were granted breakaway chances in the third. Elliott flashed his pads to stone the Flames’ scorers, stopping 24 shots in his shutout performance.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tacked on an insurance marker in the third period to clinch the win. Alex Steen slid the puck to Pietrangelo in the slot, who beat Kiprusoff. Pietrangelo has scored two goals in as many games.
Despite pulling Kiprusoff late in the third, the Flames were unable to solve Elliott. The Blues have now won two in a row and look to improve on that streak when they travel to Columbus to take on the struggling Blue Jackets on Sunday. The game will air at 5 p.m. CST on Fox Sports Midwest.
Odds & Ends
- Vladimir Sobotka left the game in the third period after being struck in the face by a puck. Sobotka was bleeding from the face, but the extent of his injury has not been articulated.
- The Blues are now 10-0 when leading after two periods.
- Brian Elliott is tops in the NHL in Sv % and GAA. With this performance, Elliott’s numbers improved. His Sv % is now .951; his GAA is a meager 1.34. Elliott is now 9-1-0 on the season.
- After being claimed by the Flames off waivers, former New York Islander Blake Comeau made his Flames debut Friday night. Comeau saw 15:08 TOI and was a -1 on the evening.
- Elliott will almost certainly start Sunday in Columbus; STL Coach Ken Hitchcock has declared a preference to start goalies in the team’s next game if that goalie earns a shutout.