CALGARY - Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves and the St. Louis got goals from five different players as the Blues remained red-hot with a 5-0 victory over the slumping Calgary Flames.
In a meeting between teams streaking in opposite directions, both trends continued. St. Louis has won seven in a row since losing in a shootout to the Flames on Dec. 23. Calgary has lost six of seven since that same point. It's also the fifth time in seven games the Flames have been shut out.
The Blues got first period goals from Chris Stewart and Vladimir Sobotka and that would turn out to be more than enough offence for Halak, who improved to 18-6-3.
Halak hadn't played since getting pulled after the first period on Dec. 28 after getting beaten three times on 13 shots. In these last five games Halak hasn't played, he's been battling illness.
Recently named to the Slovakian Olympic hockey team, Halak made an opening minute stop on a Paul Byron breakaway and never looked back. In one of the Flames best chances, Jiri Hudler rang a shot off the goal post in the second period. Halak has three shutouts this season and 28 in his career.
Ian Cole, Alex Pietrangelo, and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for St. Louis (31-7-5). The Blues pull even in points with Chicago atop the Central Division. The Blues have three games in hand.
Calgary (15-23-6) has lost five home games in a row in regulation for the first time since March 7-31, 2000.
Goal scoring has been the issue for the Flames of late. They've scored just once at the Scotiabank Saddledome during those five losses - that came from rookie Sean Monahan on New Year's Eve. Overall, Calgary has been shut out in five of the last seven games and in six of its last 11. Four of its five goals since Christmas came in one game - a 4-3 victory in Colorado on Monday.
Calgary got off to a quick start with a 4-1 edge in shots in the first three minutes. However, Lee Stempniak and Dennis Wideman then took consecutive minor penalties and although the Blues failed to score, they applied pressure and with the game's momentum having turned back in their favour, St. Louis took a 1-0 lead 18 seconds after Wideman's penalty expired.
Stewart got open and neatly converted a centring pass from Derek Roy for his 15th of the season..
The Blues added a second goal at 11:37 on a goal that Flames goaltender Karri Ramo looked shaky on, Sobotka scoring on a long shot from a sharp angle.
The only goal of the second period came on a neat pass from Tarasenko that was hammered past Ramo by Cole for his second goal of the season.
Ramo finished with 24 stops to fall to 7-8-3.
Perhaps surprisingly, as the second period ended, there was no booing from the Scotiabank Saddledome crowd, who seemed to show indifference instead. Despite many rows of empty seats in the upper levels, the crowd was announced as a sell-out of 19,289.
Notes: With points in their last 10 (9-0-1), the Blues are one back of their team record of 11 (10-0-1), which was set Jan. 21, 1999 to March 4, 2000... David Jones (eye) did not play for the Flames. He's missed three games. Calgary's only healthy scratch was D Derek Smith... In the last 11 games, the Flames have only led for 15 minutes and 25 seconds - all of that coming in its only regulation win, 4-3 at Colorado on Jan. 6... Calgary's power play is 1-for-20 in the last seven games. That stretch has come without Kris Russell (knee), who missed his eighth game.