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game recap

Tarasenko extends streak, Blues shut out Avalanche for ninth win in row

Gets goal, assist, has at least one point in 11 straight; Allen makes 32 saves for St. Louis

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

Tarasenko runs point streak to 11

STL@COL: Tarasenko extends point streak with goal

Vladimir Tarasenko wires a wrister by Semyon Varlamov to break a scoreless tie in the 3rd and extend his point streak to a career high 11 games

  • 00:52 •

DENVER -- Vladimir Tarasenko extended his point streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist, and Jake Allen made 32 saves for the St. Louis Blues in their ninth straight win, 3-0 against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The Blues have outscored opponents 36-14 during the streak, including consecutive shutouts (4-0 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday). St. Louis last won nine games in a row from Oct. 15-Nov. 5, 2002, and is one win from tying its record of 10 straight (Jan. 3-23, 2002).

Zach Sanford and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues (30-22-5), who are in third place in the Central Division, two points ahead of the Dallas Stars. Tarasenko has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) during his point streak, which is the longest of his NHL career.

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

"I'm just trying to keep up with this group," said Allen, who has two shutouts this season and 18 in his NHL career. "Everyone's playing at such a high pace, it sort of forces you to make sure you're on your game when you're playing behind this team right now. We haven't taken the foot off the gas, is the main thing."

Allen was making his second start since Jan. 17; he has been playing behind rookie Jordan Binnington , who has won seven straight games.

Video: Allen earns Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"He had a really good game, start to finish," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He works extremely hard in practice and keeps prepared. He's a good pro. He knows the situation and what's going on. He did a great job."

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for the Avalanche (23-24-11), who are 1-6-3 in their past 10 games and have four wins in their past 23 (4-14-5). They are three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves, we just have to keep pounding ahead," Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen said. "There's a lot of games left. This was a really important game, and it [stinks] to lose. We can't get stuck in the mud, we have to forget it and move on."

Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 4:01 of the third period with his 25th goal of the season and 13th in his past 14 games. Ryan O'Reilly was on the left side when he took a pass from Brayden Schenn and passed across to a wide-open Tarasenko in the right face-off circle.

Video: STL@COL: Sanford cashes in on rush to double lead

"I've played with [Tarasenko] enough to know what he does and I feel like we're reading off each other right now and playing tight, playing close and supporting," Schenn said. "I feel like [Tarasenko], when we get the puck, he's in the right spot to shoot it and right now he's scoring."

Sanford scored 57 seconds later to make it 2-0 at 4:58. Oskar Sundqvist carried the puck into the Colorado end and passed to Sanford driving to the net for a redirection.

"It's hard to win a game when you give up those chances," Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov said. "It's not about one minute, it's about 60 minutes."

Schwartz scored an empty-net goal with 1:36 remaining for the 3-0 final.

"We're treating every game like a new day," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "It's not an easy building to come in here and play. They're trying to catch us. Come in here and play the way we did, second (period) wasn't great, but we found a way to win."

Video: Clutch Performance: Blues win their ninth in a row

 

They said it

"We're confident, but the team really understands the work that has to be put in game to game. The focus and urgency that's needed all the time, we'll need the same (Sunday against the Minnesota Wild)." -- Blues coach Craig Berube

 

"Obviously we're playing better on the road right now than we are at home. The offense, not just tonight, but it seems recently at home it hasn't been great. I can't just point to our power play and say our power play's dried up. It's a factor, for sure. Their power play didn't score either. I'd like to see our power play step up and get to where it was earlier in the year." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Need to know

It's the first time the Blues have had consecutive shutouts since Feb. 6-7, 2017, when Carter Hutton shut out the Philadelphia Flyers and Allen did it against the Ottawa Senators. … Blues forward Robby Fabbri replaced Alexander Steen who missed the game because of the birth of his child. … The Avalanche have not scored a power-play goal in their past eight games (0-for-23).

 

What's next

Blues: At the Minnesota Wild on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN)

Avalanche: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Video: Allen, Tarasenko propel Blues to ninth straight win

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