Blues 2, Flames 0
Blues goalie Brian Elliott has had runs like this before. That’s
why he knows it could end just as abruptly as it started.
Elliott made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season in St.
Louis’ 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
”I just try to stay even-keeled, not really get up on yourself.
Those things can sneak through just the same,” he said. ”I try
not to really think about it. You can be playing the same way and
not getting the wins or results. You just try to keep it rolling
when you can.”
David Backes had a goal and an assist for St. Louis.
Elliott improved his record to 9-1 on the season and he leads
the league in goals-against average at 1.34, save percentage at
.951 and he’s now tied with four others for the league lead in
”Lights out … both goalies (including Jaroslav Halak) have
been,” said Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who also
”He’s making saves he has no business making,” Backes said of
Elliott. ”When you’ve got that behind you, it gives you confidence
to make a few more plays in front of him. … Kudos to him.”
The Blues are 6-1-2 since Ken Hitchcock took over as coach.
”We got two major goals from our top players, we got a great
goaltending display and our fourth line was terrific,” Hitchcock
said. ”That was the difference. It wasn’t clean, it wasn’t pretty.
It was a really physical, hard game again. We seem to be in a lot
of these games right now where they feel like playoff games.”
Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves for the Flames, who have been
blanked three times now in 21 games.
”The positives are we played a hard game here tonight,” Flames
coach Brent Sutter said. ”We played hard, we had opportunities to
capitalize. You’ve got to build off those things. You can’t sit
around and dwell on them.
”We gave a short-handed goal, we missed some opportunities. …
You can’t dwell on the negatives. No one’s feeling sorry for us so
we certainly can’t,” Sutter said. ”We have to stay together as a
group and keep pushing ahead and keep that attitude where it needs
to be and we will get through it.”
It was not the type of effort the Flames were too disappointed
with their effort but more so that they ran into a hot
”He just kept the puck out,” Flames captain Jarome Iginla said
of Elliott. ”I know he’s been playing well all year and he
continued that against us tonight. We’d always like a few more
chances but the ones we did have, he made some very good
Backes gave the Blues a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal,
powering his way past Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie and lifting a
shot over Kiprusoff’s glove 10:39 into the game.
”Just keep your legs going,” Backes said. ”Hopefully, if
worse comes to worse, you get a stride on a guy and he hauls you
down and you play four-on-four. All of the sudden, there was a
little open ice in front of me and I just tried to get a shot to
the top half of the net and found a little twine there.”
Elliott stopped Brendan Morrison in tight, then thwarting
breakaway attempts by Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.
Pietrangelo gave the Blues a two-goal cushion when he put Alex
Steen’s feed from the slot into the top of the net past Kiprusoff
with 6:43 to play. Backes won the puck in the corner on a big check
of Flames defenseman Chris Butler, then got it to Steen, who found
”Good timing again,” Pietrangelo said. ”Obviously another
great pass by (Steen). A good heads-up play. I almost fell down
there. Kind of a funny play, but I was able to get it to the back
of then net. … We’re feeling pretty good in here right now. It
wasn’t our best game, but we got away with two points.”
NOTES: Backes now has four goals in five games after scoring
four times in the first 17. He also has six points in five games.
… The Flames picked up LW Blake Comeau off waivers from the New
York Islanders Friday. He arrived in St. Louis in time to make his
Flames debut. … Blues C Patrik Berglund and C Jason Arnott each
have one goal in 13 games. … Kiprusoff came into the game with a
lifetime record of 19-4-2 with a 1.90 GAA, .927 save percentage and
three shutouts in his career against the Blues. … Flames D Jay
Bouwmeester played in his 528th straight game, the longest current