Blues 4, Avalanche 0

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 07, 2012
Kevin Shattenkirk had a goal and an assist and Brian Elliott made 15 saves for his fifth shutout and the St. Louis Blues ended the Colorado Avalanche's four-game winning streak in a 4-0 victory on Saturday night. Fellow defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had two assists for a career-best third straight multipoint game and the Blues won their NHL-high 17th game at home and moved ahead of the Red Wings for the Central Division lead. Patrik Berglund, Jason Arnott and David Backes also scored as the Blues beat the Avalanche for the first time in three meetings this season and only the second time in 11 games overall. Colorado struggled a night after a 4-0 shutout in Chicago, getting outshot 28-9 the first two periods and 39-15 overall en route to just its second loss in 11 games. The Avalanche had a season-best run of 15 straight penalty kills after the first period before giving up power-play goals to Arnott and Backes in the second. Colorado outscored its opponents 13-5 during the winning streak, and also entered with a four-game road winning streak. The shot total was a season low. The Blues won their third straight and are 17-3-2 at home, where they played to their 14th sellout. They're 18-5-5 under new coach Ken Hitchcock. Shattenkirk, who was part of a deal that sent former No. 1 overall pick Erik Johnson to the Avalanche, has three goals and three assists in five games against Colorado. Johnson, who's minus-9, left in the first period with an undisclosed injury after the team said he might return. In 65 games with St. Louis since the trade, Shattenkirk is plus-20 with has eight goals and 31 assists. Johnson has four goals and 20 assists in 59 games with Colorado with a minus-17 rating. The Blues led 2-0 with a 9-0 shots advantage before Ryan O'Reilly finally gave Elliott some action at 12:45 of the first. Coming off a pair of losses at Detroit Dec. 27 and 31, Elliott had an easy night for his first shutout since beating the Sharks on Dec. 10. Kyle Quincey's giveaway coming around the net under pressure from Berglund led to Berglund's second goal in three games. T.J. Oshie's shot deflected off Berglund's ankle on its way past Jean-Sebastian Giguere at 3:20. Shattenkirk scored his sixth goal through, about 20 seconds before the Avalanche's first shot on a power play. St. Louis quickly capitalized on Paul Stastny's cross-checking penalty early in the second, with Arnott scoring his ninth goal just 19 seconds later to make it 3-0 at 1:20 of the second. Notes: Pietrangelo has six points the past three games, four of them on the power play. ... The Blues are 19-0 when scoring three or more goals and 18-1-1 when leading after two periods. ... Oshie and Vladimir Sobotka had two assists apiece. ... St. Louis is 9-0-1 the past 10 home games with the last regulation loss Dec. 3 against Chicago. ... The Avalanche are 2-3 in the second half of back-to-back games.
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