Hutton dominates as Blues defeat Jets 2-0
ST. LOUIS — As a backup goalie, Carter Hutton knows he has to make the most of his rare chances to play.
Hutton did just that, making a career-high 48 saves to earn his ninth career shutout as the St. Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-0 Saturday night.
“Anytime we gave up something Hutton was there,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “He was sharp right from the start. He was excited to get back in the net.”
Vladimir Tarasenko and Vince Dunn scored for St. Louis, which snapped a two-game skid.
Hutton improved to 5-2-0 a day after being activated from injured reserve, where he spent the past week dealing with a lower-body injury. He was tested early and often as Winnipeg peppered him with 15 shots in the first period and 21 more in the second.
“Coming to the game I was a little more nervous, excited, kind of mixed emotions,” Hutton said. “I thought I settled in right away, first couple of shots seeing it well. They put a lot of shots on the net and for me it kind of gets me into the game.”
The 48 saves for Hutton set a franchise record for the most in a shutout, topping Chris Mason’s mark of 47 on Nov. 25, 2008, at Nashville.
“It’s amazing what (Hutton) did tonight, coming in after not playing for a little bit,” Dunn said. “It’s amazing that he can come in and control the game like that, so all kudos to him.”
Steve Mason, making his first appearance since Nov. 25, stopped 28 shots as Winnipeg lost for the fifth time in six games.
“I felt comfortable the entire game and that is what I was hoping for going into it,” Mason said. “When you look at it, we had a chance to win that hockey game. Unfortunately we weren’t able to put one past Carter (Hutton), but if we play like that we are going to win more hockey games than we lose.”
Tarasenko opened the scoring on a power play 9:16 into the first period when he buried a pass from Alexander Steen. The goal was Tarasenko’s 15th of the season and third in his last 12 games. It snapped a streak of four games for St. Louis without a power-play goal.
Dunn made it 2-0 when he got his third of the season with 2:26 remaining in the third period. Tarasenko assisted on Dunn’s goal, giving him 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his last 13 games.
The Blues improved to 16-2-1 when scoring first while Winnipeg fell to 4-9-1 when surrendering the opening tally.
“When you lose games you’re always looking for things you don’t like, but there were an awful lot of things offensively that we were good, sharp and fast at,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “We just couldn’t find a handle on a lot of stuff laying in front of the net. They made some real good saves as well.”
Carter Hutton says the #stlblues‘ win over the #NHLJets was an important one: “We want to take pride in winning at home to set the tone for this home-and-home series with them. It’s big to win the first one.” pic.twitter.com/0vZ7XTIfH0
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) December 17, 2017
NOTES: St. Louis RW Chris Thorburn faced the Jets for the first time since playing 709 games in 10 seasons with the franchise. … Blues RW Sammy Blais left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. … The Jets are 0-4-2 in their last six road games. … Winnipeg lost to St. Louis for the first time since Dec. 15, 2015, after winning six straight meetings.
Jets: Host St. Louis on Sunday in the second of back-to-back games between the teams.
Blues: At Winnipeg on Sunday to start a four-game road trip.