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game recap

Blues shut out Blackhawks, maintain lead in Central Division

Allen makes 29 saves, St. Louis stays two points ahead

by Brandon Cain / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Allen's 29-save performance

STL@CHI: Allen stymies Hawks to record shutout win

Jake Allen stopped all 29 shots he faced, as he earned his 21st career NHL shutout in the Blues' 2-0 win against the Blackhawks

  • 01:29 •

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Blues maintained their two-point lead in the Central Division when Jake Allen made 29 saves in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday.

Jaden Schwartz had two assists for St. Louis (41-18-10), which is 9-1-0 in its past 10 games. The Blues kept their division lead on the Colorado Avalanche, who won 4-3 at the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

"We were pretty solid defensively tonight," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "Obviously [we] gave up a few chances off the rush, but not many. I thought our guys did a real good job of gapping up on them, not giving them enough time. Our forwards were reloading hard and getting back. We did a good job."

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Blackhawks highlights]

 

Corey Crawford made 24 saves in his ninth consecutive start for Chicago (31-30-8), which has lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.

Video: STL@CHI: Bortuzzo goes top shelf to kick off scoring

The Blackhawks remained six points behind the Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"Tough," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We need those two [points], obviously. But I got no complaints for the work ethic of the team. I thought they competed really hard."

Robert Bortuzzo collected a loose puck at the side of the net and scored to give the Blues a 1-0 lead at 6:41 of the second period.

"That's like 13-, 14-year-old outdoor rink stuff," Bortuzzo said after ending a 13-game goal drought. "I've worked that out of my game actually, but sometimes they pop up once in a while. Fortunately, [I] got to bury one."

Schwartz sent a cross-ice pass to Alex Pietrangelo inside the left face-off circle, where he scored at 5:37 of the third for the 2-0 final.

Chicago had one shot on goal in four power-play opportunities.

"Pucks maybe weren't bouncing our way, maybe we weren't working hard enough to put it in the net," Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat said. "You're obviously a man up and you need to convert on those chances."

It was Allen's second shutout of the season; each has come against the Blackhawks. He made 38 saves in a 4-0 win at United Center on Dec. 2.

St. Louis won all four games against Chicago this season.

"It's pretty cool," Allen said. "Obviously they're our biggest rival to date; we play them a lot. They got the best of us there for a while. It's good to get some wins under our belt. The rivalry's still going to go on for a long time. It's going to be fun moving forward."

Video: STL@CHI: Schwartz, Pietrangelo team up for nifty goal

 

They said it

"The penalty kill was excellent. Obviously, we ran into some penalty trouble tonight. They did a good job killing and keeping it 1-0; more aggressive and just running routes properly. The clears they were really good tonight, using each other to clear pucks." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

Video: Allen earns Sunday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"I think we were in every game, and the last two games I can think of on the road we had leads in the third period. … Unfortunately, we found ways to give those leads up. We were in those games." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on being swept by St. Louis in the season series

 

Need to know

Allen passed Jaroslav Halak into second place in Blues history with 21 career shutouts; Brian Elliott had 25. … St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk (upper body) could play against the Florida Panthers at Enterprise Center on Monday, Berube said. … The Blackhawks are 0-for-14 on the power play in their past five games. … Chicago defenseman Adam Boqvist is in concussion protocol after a hit by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the second period. Sundqvist was assessed minor penalties for elbowing and roughing on the play. … Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula injured his right hand in a fight against St. Louis defenseman Vince Dunn.

 

What's next

Blues: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNP, FS-MW, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: Host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS)

Video: Allen, Blues shut out Blackhawks, 2-0

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