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Allen makes 45 saves, Blues shut out Predators

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com

NASHVILLE -- Goaltender Jake Allen made a career-high 45 saves to help the St. Louis Blues to a 4-0 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Allen got his second consecutive win and second shutout to improve to 6-3-0. St. Louis (10-3-1) went 2-for-3 on the power play and scored three goals in the third period.

"I feel that since the start of last year, my game is just getting better," Allen said. "I still have a long way to go. I want to be one of the best, and I'm still early in my career. Getting better each day, my practice habits have gotten a lot better this year I feel like. I feel like I've been practicing harder, and it's hopefully just translating to games."

Nashville (8-3-2) went 0-for-5 on the power play and had its first regulation home loss (4-1-1).

"We had almost 50 shots and 80 attempts, scoring chances everywhere," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "It didn't go. I don't know how to explain it. You try to play a certain style and a certain way, and sometimes it doesn't happen. Tonight it didn't happen."

Defenseman Colton Parayko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 8:23 of the first period on a power-play goal from the left faceoff circle. Parayko took a pass from forward Troy Brouwer and shot the puck past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his fifth goal.

"Unbelievable play down in the corner there," Parayko said. "[Forward Scott Gomez] had a couple guys on him and found Brouwer in the slot. I don't know if he faked the shot, but he just slid it over to me and it looked like I pretty much had most of the net so it was a great play by those guys down low."

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo gave the Blues at 2-0 lead at 2:30 of the third period on a power-play goal. Pietrangelo took a pass from forward Alexander Steen and shot a one-timer from the left faceoff circle past Rinne for his first goal.

"It's about time," Pietrangelo said. "I've had a couple good looks the last couple of games. I felt like it was going to come, and it finally did. Hopefully more to come."

Scottie Upshall gave the Blues a 3-0 lead at 5:30 of the third period on an odd-man rush. Upshall led the rush and took a wrist shot that beat Rinne on the stick side for his third goal.

"These are bank points that look a lot better a month from now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Everybody's going to go through adversity. The games are just so emotional, everybody is going to go through it. For us to get points right now, any point we can get right now is a bonus."

Steen gave the Blues a 4-0 lead at 12:51 of the third period on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle. He took the pass from forward Vladimir Tarasenko and scored his team-leading eighth goal.

"You obviously want as much offensive support as you can," Allen said. "Guys put their foot down between the second and third and came out strong. Offensive guys did their thing and put a couple of those key goals in and gave us a little bit of breathing room."

Nashville had 1:20 of a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period but was unable to convert. Defenseman Shea Weber had multiple shots toward the net, but Allen was able to track down his slap shots from close range.

"[Weber] is just teeing them up right at me, and then he misses me and he hits [Allen], but [Allen] has more equipment though," Pietrangelo said. "That 5-on-3 was a big point in the game there, and he made some big saves. Not to take anything away from him, I thought the [penalty kill] tonight stepped up. We did a good job. We needed that. Those were crucial points in the game."

The Blues weren't happy with giving up 45 shots.

"We gave up a lot of scoring chances today," Hitchcock said. "A couple games in a row now where we've given up too many, but [Allen] has been stellar."

St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. He had 19:00 minutes of ice time and did not have a point.

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