WINNIPEG, Manitoba • If Brian Elliott is still bitter after being passed over as the Blues’ starting goaltender in last season’s playoffs, he’s not showing it.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock declared the goalie job an open competition in training camp and said he hoped either Elliott or Jake Allen would run with it. Elliott has had more opportunities thus far, but he’s earned them.
Elliott made 27 saves in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Winnipeg, running his record to 4-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
“Like I always say, ‘Just try to play your game,’” Elliott said. “Yesterday doesn’t matter, tomorrow doesn’t matter either, it’s just today. Especially on a long road trip like this, it’s just one game at a time, try to play that gutsy road hockey that wins games.”
Elliott made 12 of his saves in the first period as the Blues fought off a ferocious Jets attack.
“He’s a pro, he’s a competitor, he’s going to find a way to keep us in the game and help us win,” Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “Tough decision for the coaches because with Jake, too, they’ve both been playing well. But Moose has been outstanding.”
Allen has had only two starts, going 1-1. He made 31 saves in Vancouver on Friday, helping the Blues gut out a 4-3 victory.
“Goaltending has been the story of the year for us,” Hitchcock said. “Jake walked into two hornets’ nests. That’s the challenge that these guys have to meet. That’s been the story so far at the start of the year here. But Brian has played awfully well.”
Allen will get the assignment Tuesday in Montreal.
Blues rookie defenseman Colton Parayko showed off his slap shot again Sunday.
After breaking the glass with it Friday in Vancouver, Parayko put Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec down to the ground momentarily after he made a save in the third period.
“When I have pucks like that in the slot and have the opportunity to use my shot I do,” Parayko said. “Obviously the last two games I’ve had the puck where I want it, right in my wheelhouse.”
Parayko said he received several messages after breaking the glass behind the Vancouver net Friday.
“A couple of friends were saying leave the glass alone, just joking with me,” he said. “But as much as it is hard, I’ve got to start putting it in the net.”
Late in Sunday’s game, Parayko didn’t put one on net, but he did help put one in the back of the net. He passed up a shot, instead dishing to defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, who deflected the puck past Pavelec.
“Look for the shot, but he’s wide open in front,” Parayko said. “It worked out well.”
Ryan Reaves, a healthy scratch Friday in Vancouver, was back in the lineup Sunday in his home province of Manitoba.
Reaves has struggled to catch up after missing part of training camp with a knee injury.Asked what he wanted to see from Reaves on Sunday, Hitchcock replied: “Just get healthy and play well. Keep the puck in front of you, keep the energy high, keep the physicality high ... but keep the puck in front of you.”
Reaves saw 7 minutes, 53 seconds of ice time Sunday and led the Blues with four hits.
“This game today was the first time for me that we’ve really had four lines going,” Hitchcock said. “We needed it.”