With Jaroslav Halak
on the bench, Ty Conklin went out and claimed a record of his own.
Conklin stopped 27 shots at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, backstopping the Blues to a 2-0 win
and their first-ever shutout against the New York Rangers. The two teams have met 129 times.
"I heard that," Conklin told the Associated Press. "It's fine with me. I'm glad it came when I was in net. It would've been great when Jaro was in net, but I'll take it."
Conklin's shutout was his first of the season. Halak has three, giving the Blues four shutouts through 12 games and a new team record. The fastest four shutouts previously came through 14 games during the 2000-01 season.
The Blues have now won seven consecutive games, the most since 2002 when they won nine from Oct. 15 to Nov. 5, 2002.
The team's record has improved to 9-1-2, which is a franchise record for the best start through 12 games. Through Sunday's contests, the Blues are ranked first overall in the NHL standings. They have games in hand on Los Angeles, Washington and Philadelphia, all of which also have 20 points on the young season.
Perhaps more notably, the Blues have been playing without half of their starting six-defenseman. Barret Jackman
, Carlo Colaiacovo
and Roman Polak
are out with injuries, but Tyson Strachan, Nikita Nikitin and Ian Cole
have filled in admirably.
In addition, the Blues are without David Perron
, who has missed two games with lingering headaches following a hit on Nov. 4 from Sharks forward Joe Thornton.
The Blues are back in action Wednesday at Columbus, where they'll wrap up a three-game road trip at Nationwide Arena.
The team will return home Nov. 11 vs. Nashville, where they'll defend a perfect 6-0-0 record at Scottrade Center.Other highlights from the past week include:
- Ty Conklin earned his first shutout of the season…he now has five shutouts in his last 21 road games with the Blues
- Alex Pietrangelo recorded his first career multi-point game with two assists against San Jose
- Davis Payne earned his 30th career victory against San Jose
- Alex Steen tallied his first two-goal game since Mar. 30, 2010 vs. Chicago
- Brad Boyes scored his third shootout goal in as many attempts, the game-decider against Boston…as of Sunday, he leads the NHL in shootout goals
- Vladimir Sobotka scored his first goal as a Blue at Boston, his former team
- Ian Cole and Nikita Nikitin made their Blues/NHL debuts at Boston…the first pair of Blues to debut in the same game since Jonas Junland and Tyson Stachan on Dec. 18, 2008 at Washington