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Elliott wows Blues with work against Minnesota

2014-03-10T15:23:00Z 2014-03-11T06:33:06Z Elliott wows Blues with work against MinnesotaBy Jeremy Rutherford jrutherford@post-dispatch.com 314-444-7135 stltoday.com

Alexander Steen knows how Minnesota's Mikael Granlund was feeling in the third period of the Blues' 2-1 shootout win over the Wild. 

If you haven't see it by now, click on the video in this blog of Elliott's save on Granlund with 13 minutes, 18 seconds remaining in a game tied 2-2 at the time.

"He robbed me (Sunday) morning just like that — well almost," Steen said. "Typical 'Ells.' He never quits. It was unbelievable."

Even if Steen got off a shot like Granlund and Elliott turned it away with his paddle, it was in practice. His save on the Wild forward came in front of 18,000-plus fans, potentially saved the game and had Blues' fans buzzing on Monday. 

Elliott had 17 stops in all, improving his record to 16-5-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .916 save-percentage.

A litany of leg saves began with one on Minnesota's Nino Niederreiter on a breakaway with 4:23 remaining in the first period. He had another on Jason Pominville with 2:19 left in the period.

"I didn't get much work in the first and then I had to make a breakaway save," Elliott said. "After you make a save like that, you start to feel good. A little lapse in the second (period), but we did a good job bouncing back and being strong."

The Wild scored two goals in the second period, tying the score 2-2. It looked like that might change seven minutes into the third period when Granlund found himself free in front of the Blues' net.

Enter Elliott.

He reached back to his right and got the paddle of his stick on the puck — similar to the stop made by Jake Allen against Calgary's T.J. Brodie last season.

“I saw that (Granlund) got lost behind everybody,” Elliott said. “I actually tried to charge out and ‘get big’ for a tip shot, but he managed to stop it and pull it around me. It’s just desperation. That’s the only thing I could get on the puck. I got a little bit of wood on it, and call it a day.”

Elliott wasn't done. He gloves another glorious chance by Pominville with 2:19 left in regulation. With 1:29 remaining, the Blues' Patrik Berglund was penalized for roughing, so Elliott and the PK were forced to kill off the two-minute minor which included 31 seconds of 4-on-3 play in overtime.

Then leading off the shootout, Elliott denied Zach Parise's valiant attempt. The Blues countered with goals by T.J. Oshie and Steen to win the game.

"When you've got 'Osh' and 'Steener' going Nos. 1-2, you make a save or two and you should be fine," Elliott said.

The Blues were fine in the shootout, but only because the game made it to a shootout.

"'Ells' definitely stood on his head and gave us a chance to win and really stole a game for us," defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said.

Including last week's 1-0 loss in Anaheim, where Elliott was thrust into the starting role when Jaroslav Halak was traded, he has compiled a 1.45 GAA and .921 save-percentage in his last two starts.

"Every time we ask him to play, he plays well," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I don't see this any different than the game in Anaheim or anything else. He's playing awfully well right now."

Jeremy is a reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @jprutherford.

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