Tarasenko, Allen help Blues shut out Stars

Steve Hunt  - Correspondent | Monday, 03.16.2015 / 12:29 AM

DALLAS -- Playing at American Airlines Center has brought the best out of Vladimir Tarasenko this season.

Tarasenko scored his 34th goal early in the third period and Jake Allen made 28 saves to help the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

In Tarasenko's previous game in Dallas, he scored his first career hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime to give the Blues a 4-3 win on Oct. 28.

His latest goal, the sixth of his career against Dallas (five this season), came 4:26 into the third with a wrist shot from the slot that deflected in off the left pad of Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Tarasenko evaded Dallas captain Jamie Benn in the high slot during a 4-on-4 situation.

"I like to play 4-on-4 more because you have more space and you can play more position hockey than 5-on-5,” Tarasenko said. "I think it was a really good play by (Paul Stastny). I'm so happy when I saw my shot go through. It was an important goal for the team. I'm happy to get the two points."

Benn accepted full responsibility for the goal, the eventual game-winner.

"It's one play. I lost my guy there, and it's in the back of the net. I take the blame for that one. It's just not responsible in our end," Benn said. "I can't be giving a player like Tarasenko much time where he shot from. That's unacceptable, and pretty much all my fault."

Allen recorded his fourth shutout of the season. Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie each had a goal and an assist and Alex Pietrangelo had two assists for St. Louis (44-20-5), which moved into first place in the Central Division. The Blues and Nashville Predators, who lost 4-2 to the Anaheim Ducks later Sunday, each have 93 points, but the Blues have played two fewer games.

"My job is to keep the puck out of the net no matter the situation," Allen said. "I just tried to give the guys a chance tonight. That was a tough game, a back-to-back, quick turnaround. It was a huge win."

Lehtonen made 18 saves for the Stars (32-28-10).

The Blues got an insurance goal when Steen scored on a power play with 3:15 remaining. Oshie scored an empty-net goal with 1:56 left to make it 3-0.

Dallas failed to build any momentum on home ice after going 4-1-0 during an Eastern Conference road trip. The Stars are 2-5-3 in their past 10 games at home.

"We played a good game. We played the game we should have played. We didn't give up much, we had some execution problems, just missed on some plays," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "They did a great job getting sticks and feet on a lot of plays, but I felt the way we were playing that we'd come out of top. I thought our defense played better than their defense."

Pietrangelo looked to break a scoreless tie with a slap shot from the right point at 16:26 of the second period, but Lehtonen denied him at the far post with a glove save.

That shot by Pietrangelo was one of only a handful of scoring chances through the first two periods in a game that remained scoreless after 40 minutes.

But that all changed rather quickly in the third period when the Blues had great jump almost from the opening faceoff.

"The right people did the right things in the third period for us. We scored on the power play. The people that were on the ice for the power play had to do the job. They did it," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "[Tarasenko] scored the big goal for us. Oshie got the game shut down at the end there with a big play. People that we needed to do it tonight got it done."

Tarasenko tried to score off the rush 1:40 into the third period when his wrist shot from the right circle got past Dallas rookie defenseman Jamie Oleksiak but was gobbled up by Lehtonen at 1:40.

The Blues generated another quality chance at 2:02 of the third when Lehtonen denied a wrist shot by Stastny. The ensuing rebound was resting inside the paint, but Dallas defenseman Jason Demers cleared the puck out of danger.

Dallas had a quality chance when Allen turned the puck over behind the St. Louis net at 6:56 of the third. Vernon Fiddler sent the puck toward the goal, but Stastny cleared the ensuing carom.

Blues center Patrik Berglund played his 500th game.

The Stars finished 0-for-6 on the power play and had seven shots on goal.

"Yeah, great job by the penalty kill all around," Pietrangelo said. "We used a lot of different personnel tonight, especially on short rest like we had today. We've had a little bit of success here on the penalty kill. It's going to be important going down the stretch."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
2nd Period
3rd Period
04:26STL Vladimir Tarasenko (34) ASST: Paul Stastny (27), Alex Pietrangelo (31) 1 - 0 STL
16:45STL PPG - Alexander Steen (20) ASST: Alex Pietrangelo (32), T.J. Oshie (29) 2 - 0 STL
18:14STL EN - T.J. Oshie (19) ASST: David Backes (25), Alexander Steen (37) 3 - 0 STL
Three Stars of the Game
Jake Allen
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 20-20
PIM: 0PP: 7-7
SV%: 1.000SH: 1-1
Vladimir Tarasenko
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 15:13
Jamie Benn
G: 0Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 4
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: -2TOI: 21:02
Penalty Summary
1st Period
05:26STL Barret Jackman  Tripping against  Ales Hemsky
09:17STL Petteri Lindbohm  Hi-sticking against  Colton Sceviour
12:02DAL Brett Ritchie  Hi-sticking against  Petteri Lindbohm
2nd Period
03:28STL Alexander Steen  Tripping against  Jamie Benn
11:49STL Alexander Steen  Slashing against  Curtis McKenzie
3rd Period
03:33STL David Backes  Roughing against  Curtis McKenzie
03:33DAL Curtis McKenzie  Roughing against  David Backes
05:07STL T.J. Oshie  Hi-sticking against  Jamie Oleksiak
11:17STL Vladimir Tarasenko  Tripping against  Brett Ritchie
16:11DAL Vernon Fiddler  Hooking against  T.J. Oshie
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/20/6
Faceoff Wins3039
Blocked Shots189
Penalty Minutes146
4C. GunnarssonD0020020:17
5B. JackmanD0001216:12
6Z. MichalekD0000018:48
12J. LehteraC0000014:12
13O. JokinenC000109:20
17J. SchwartzL0000018:03
19J. BouwmeesterD0000022:48
20A. SteenL1112418:37
21P. BerglundC0004012:21
23D. JaskinR0002011:56
26P. StastnyC0112018:42
27A. PietrangeloD0222025:08
42D. BackesC0110218:29
48P. LindbohmD0001213:55
57M. GocC000108:20
74T. OshieR1113218:20
75R. ReavesR000005:19
91V. TarasenkoR1012215:13
34J. Allen28281.00060:00
2J. JokipakkaD00-20019:54
4J. DemersD0000018:21
5J. OleksiakD0001013:09
10S. HorcoffC0001016:30
11C. McKenzieL0001213:18
14J. BennL00-24021:02
18P. EavesR0000014:36
20C. EakinC00-11017:21
21A. RousselL00-13010:29
22C. SceviourC0002012:03
24J. BennD0001019:45
25B. RitchieR0001213:55
33A. GoligoskiD00-22025:03
37P. NemethD0002016:39
38V. FiddlerC0003215:49
83A. HemskyR0001012:34
90J. SpezzaC0002015:01
91T. SeguinC00-23020:23
32K. Lehtonen1820.90059:34