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Jake Allen's 'phenomenal performance' boosts Blues

Goalie makes 51 saves in Game 1 win against Wild

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Sitting at his locker, Jake Allen was tired, but the St. Louis Blues goalie had enough energy for a conversation with assistant general manager Martin Brodeur before the media converged.

Allen was more than willing to talk about his 51-save performance, with a large number of the stops of the spectacular variety in a 2-1 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday.

Allen was brilliant for the Blues, coming within 22.7 seconds of his first Stanley Cup Playoff shutout before Zach Parise scored the lone Wild goal.

Video: STL@MIN, Gm1: Allen stands tall to deny Staal

The Blues felt they owed it to their goalie to go out and steal a game on the road, and Allen was more than willing to give his teammates a chance to do just that.


[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Wild series coverage]


It wasn't easy.

"They threw a lot at me, but my job is to stop the puck and give the boys a chance, and they scored the [overtime] goal," Allen said. "A big win for us."

So what did he discuss with Brodeur, the NHL all-time wins leader and a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils?

"Just a couple things to keep in mind for the next day or so to be ready for the next game," Allen said. "We'll go over the video and stuff [Thursday]. There's a couple things I can do better, hopefully to be better next game."

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Friday in St. Paul.

If Allen can be any better than he was in Game 1, the Blues should like their chances.

"He was unbelievable, save after save" Blues defenseman Colton Parayko said of Allen, whose 51 saves are fourth-most in the postseason by a Blues goalie behind Curtis Joseph, who made 61 in the 1993 Norris Division Final and 57 in the same series, and Ed Staniowski, who made 54 saves in the 1976 preliminary round. "He was making it look easy out there. It was unbelievable to watch, and for us to be a part of it was just that much better."

Video: STL@MIN, Gm1: Allen notches a pair of strong stops

Perhaps Allen's best save came off Charlie Coyle's stick with 3:22 remaining in the second period, flashing his glove to keep the Blues ahead 1-0.

"I felt honestly (that on) shots from tough angles, I did a pretty decent job of keeping pucks away from players," Allen said. "That's their forte. That's how they score. They crash the net, they have a lot of skill guys that can make quick plays in front of the net. We're going to expect the same. Hopefully, it goes well Friday."

Blues coach Mike Yeo, who had the same job with the Wild from 2011-2016, was at a loss for words when asked about Allen's performance.

"I don't know that I really can (describe it)," Yeo said. "I've had time to think about it too. I knew that was going to be the first question and ... phenomenal performance. That's about all I can say against a team that really challenges you, not only obviously the quality of scoring chances, but the pressure at the net. The way he controlled shots, situations, rebounds, the puck, it was obviously an impressive performance."

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