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Rookie defenseman Parayko lifts Blues past Flames

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com

CALGARY -- Colton Parayko scored his first two NHL goals, including the game-winner, and the St. Louis Blues defeated the Calgary Flames 4-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Playing his third game in the League, the 22-year-old defenseman picked the perfect time to put together a memorable performance.

"I've been saying I've been dreaming of it as a kid in every interview," Parayko said. "It's tough to describe, almost. One of the coolest parts is that my parents and brother and sisters were in town. They got to watch that and experience with me as well. It's a pretty cool experience. I'll probably take tonight when I'm back to the hotel and think to myself, 'Wow, I scored my first NHL goal.'"

Scottie Upshall and Troy Brouwer also scored for the Blues (2-1-0), who will continue their season-high six-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

Parayko is from St. Alberta, in the Edmonton Capital Region just northwest of the city. He's not necessarily planning a similar performance for closer to home.

"You can't really expect that out of every game," Parayko said. "You want to make sure you approach tomorrow, come to practice ready and just do whatever I can to get better every day. I'm still learning so many different things. The guys have been unbelievable helping me with everything."

Mason Raymond, Jiri Hudler and David Jones scored for the Flames (1-2-0), who have lost their first two games on home ice. Calgary returns to action Friday at the Winnipeg Jets.

"I have lots of trust in our guys," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Right now, in some moments in parts of the game, our execution is very good, and in some other parts, our execution is not good at all. We're making bad puck decisions and we're giving easy pucks away. Against good teams, against teams that are big, that are physical, you're just giving them the momentum. That's what we did in the second period."

Brouwer erased the Blues' 2-1 deficit with his second goal of the season 2:49 into the second, and Parayko took over from there.

Parayko scored his first goal on the power play at 4:47 with a wrist shot that sailed by the glove of Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller. His second goal, a wrist shot that glanced off a Calgary defender before beating Hiller, came with 31.5 seconds remaining in the period to extend the St. Louis lead to 4-2.

"The first one, I just got it at the point and saw a little bit of traffic," Parayko said. "I ripped it top left. The second one, I was late on the rush, and [Alexander Steen] gave me a backhand. I tried to pull it and no shot lanes, so I moved to the forehand and wristed one through. I just try to shoot from wherever, almost. Wherever I get it, I just try to shoot and try to create anything."

The goals came after Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau stripped Parayko of the puck earlier in the game.

"That was a tough shift. I was thinking about that," Parayko said. "Going from that shift to going to my first NHL goal was low to high. It was pretty funny. There are unbelievable players in this league. You can't take a shift off. That just shows. The little things like that, I just have to keep learning."

The Flames had 10 shots on Blues goalie Brian Elliott through two periods but cut their deficit to one on their 11th at 1:42 of the third. Michael Frolik picked off an errant pass by St. Louis center David Backes in the Blues end and fed Jones, who beat Elliott to cut the lead to 4-3.

But the Flames, who used a third-period comeback Saturday in a 3-2 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks, couldn't beat Elliott again despite playing the final 1:56 of the game with Hiller on the bench for the extra attacker.

Elliott finished with 15 saves, including one off the stick of Gaudreau from in tight with 44 seconds remaining in the third period to preserve the victory.

"He's a playmaker, so I knew he was looking to kind of make a play first," Elliott said. "Our D kind of took that away. I just tried to hug the post, and it went off me, through the crowd, and out the other side. It was a good bounce for me."

The win didn't come without a price for St. Louis, which lost defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a lower-body injury. Shattenkirk, who didn't play in the third and had 12:58 of ice time, will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

Calgary forward Lance Bouma also didn't play the third after sustaining a lower-body injury.

The Blues have dominated the Flames in recent seasons, going 7-0-1 in their past eight games, including a sweep of the 2014-15 season series. St. Louis had not trailed in a game during that span until Raymond opened the scoring 1:14 into the first period.

But Upshall, in his debut with the Blues after earning a contract following a tryout in training camp, tied the game 1-1 at 16:46.

The short-lived tie was broken by Hudler, who tapped a cross-crease pass from Gaudreau by Elliott to put the Flames up 2-1. The goal came on Calgary's fourth straight power play of the period. The Flames had one shot on their first three opportunities.

Gaudreau has a point on five of Calgary's seven goals this season.

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