On a night when the Blues had to rush in a backup goalie from San Antonio and had to have someone from the Brentwood adult league on standby, the Blues' fulltime goalie, Jake Allen, made 29 saves in posting his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at Scottrade Center.
It was Allen's 16th career shutout, tying him with Glenn Hall on the Blues' all-time list and it put him alone in fourth place in wins with 105, breaking a tie with Brian Elliott.
Brayden Schenn scored his fourth goal in two games and 14th of the season, giving him the team lead, and Colton Parayko also scored. Both goals came on the power play, as the Blues went 2 for 7 with an extra man. Vladimir Tarasenko added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
It was a strange night for the Blues after backup goalie Carter Hutton took a puck to the foot in the morning skate and couldn't play. The Blues had to summon Ville Husso in from San Antonio, but since his flight wouldn't get in until after the game started, they called in 25-year-old Tyler Stewart, a former St. Louis University club goalie who is now going to grad school at Maryville and plays in the adult league at Brentwood. Stewart skated with the team in pregame warmups and watched the first period from the Blues dressing room until Husso showed up late in the period.
The Blues have won two in a row and have points in three straight after a three-game losing streak.
“Just nuts is how I'd describe it,” Stewart said. “A dream come true obviously to be able to do the warmups.
“I got to listen to the pregame speech with (Mike) Yeo. It's crazy how loose they are. You would think they'd be tight a little, but they're joking around like you wouldn't even think they're playing a hockey game. It's a cool environment, nothing like I'd ever experienced before.
“I sat next to Tarasenko. He was awesome. Him and Sobotka were asking me how to spell scissors because they were confused about the spelling. They were saying it as Caesar, like Caesar salad. It was pretty funny. They just talked to me like I was one of the guys. It was pretty cool.”
SECOND PERIOD UPDATE
The Blues couldn't score on two power plays, putting them 1 for 6 on the evening, and Dallas put the puck into the net a fraction of a second after time ran out as the Blues held on to a 1-0 lead after two periods at Scottrade Center.
The Blues had seven shots on goal in the period, but only two of them in the four minutes they had an extra skater. The Blues also killed one Dallas power play.
Dallas made a late run on goal by and Stephen Johns flipped the puck over Jake Allen and into the goal, but the clock had hit 0:00 before it crossed the line.
FIRST PERIOD UPDATE
Brayden Schenn scored his fourth goal in two games, scoring on a power play, as the Blues took a 1-0 lead after one period against the Dallas Stars on Thursday at Scottrade Center.
Schenn, who had a hat trick against the Canadiens on Tuesday, scored with 6:21 to go in the first. Alexander Steen took a shot from the point that goalie Kari Lehtonen blocked. Dmitrij Jaskin swatted at the rebound, which came to Schenn, who scored into an open half of the net from a tough angle.
That was the only good news on the power play for the Blues, who went 1 for 4 with 5:35 of man-advantage time, including 1:14 of 5 on 3 play in which they had two shots on goal but precious little else other than passes around the perimeter.
Ville Husso arrived with 5:09 to go in the first period, taking his spot as the backup to Jake Allen after Carter Hutton took a puck to the foot in the morning skate.
HUTTON HURT, HUSSO CALLED UP
The Blues called up goalie Ville Husso from San Antonio on Thursday afternoon because of a lower-body injury to backup goalie Carter Hutton.
Jake Allen will start in goal for the Blues, and Husso isn't expected to arrive at Scottrade Center till shortly before game time or soon after, so local goalie Tyler Stewart will sign an amateur tryout contract with the Blues and take part in warmups. Husso will take his place once he arrives.
Hutton took part in the morning skate on Thursday and didn't seem to be in pain in the locker room after the practice.
To make room on the roster for Husso, the Blues have assigned forward Sammy Blais, who was going to be a healthy scratch tonight, to San Antonio.
Husso was just out with a lower-body injury of his own and missed three weeks because of it. He returned on Tuesday night and allowed five goals on 30 shots in a 5-1 loss for the Rampage.
DUNN BACK IN LINEUP
After two games as a healthy scratch, rookie defenseman Vince Dunn will be back in the lineup on Thursday when the Blues face the Dallas Stars at Scottrade Center.
“Obviously (being out) is not ideal,” Dunn said. “I guess you're getting another perspective. It's better to be back in.”
Dunn will take the spot of Robert Bortuzzo and will play alongside Carl Gunnarsson.
The Blues will make one other lineup move, with Chris Thorburn going back in and Sammy Blais coming out. Thorburn will take his usual spot on the fourth line, with Dmitrij Jaskin moving up to the third line.
Coach Mike Yeo said at the start of December that with a busy schedule, lineup changes were inevitable, even if the team was doing well. The game with Dallas is the first of three in four days and of seven in 11 days.
“You look around the league and one thing that every team is going to do is they're going to include all players,” Yeo said, “they're going to adjust on the opponent you're facing and they're not going to allow their team to be complacent or satisfied on what they did in the previous game. Obviously consistency is a good thing, but consistent competition is a good thing too. And in order for that to happen, you have to make sure that the new guy is ready to come in.”
Dunn played in the season's first 26 games before being a healthy scratch, which seemed inevitable after the return of Jay Bouwmeester from injury left the team with six experienced D-men and Dunn, who got off to a solid start in his first season.
“I thought I was fine,” he said. “We've got seven good D men, so whoever the coaces feel like is going, they're going to be going. You have to be ready for whatever.
“I don't know if I really learned anything (from watching). Maybe watching that the guys that have done so well before, maybe watching their habits. There's nothing really to watch. It's just being ready when you're back in.”
“It's been difficult (making lineup moves) in the sense that we're going to have to take out a good player, a guy who's done a good job for us,” Yeo said. “It's been easy in a sense that we know we're putting in a good player as well. We have to make sure that everybody's staying involved. Dunner's been out for a couple here now so it's a good opportunity to get him back in.”
As for Thorburn, who was also a healthy scratch the past two games, it's the nature of the opponent that led to this change.
“You look at the way that Dallas has been playing, they've been playing very physical,” Yeo said. “So this is a different type of game that we've seen the last couple games. It's going to have a different feel tonight. Getting him back in will be good for our group.”
HITCH IS BACK
Stars coach Ken Hitchcock came out to his team's bench late in the Blues' morning skate, when the session had broken into individual drills, and he soon had a collection of his former players gathered around. Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen, Kyle Brodziak, Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund were among those that stopped by and Hitch must have brought his A game, because there were plenty of smiles.
“The crazy uncle came back a few weeks early, so they're thinking it's Christmas time hopefully,” Hitchcock said.
The last time Hitchcock was here was his first game in St. Louis since being fired. For that game, on Oct. 7, a 4-2 Blues win, there was a video tribute to Hitchcock.
“There won't be any tributes,” Hitchcock said. “I hope the booing starts pretty quick here.”
Vladimir Sobotka-Paul Stastny-Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz-Brayden Schenn-Alexander Steen
Magnus Paajarvi-Patrik Berglund-Dmitrij Jaskin
Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Chris Thorburn
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson-Vince Dunn
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Curtis McKenzie - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Remi Elie - Mattias Janmark - Devin Shore
Gemel Smith - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis -- Greg Pateryn
Jamie Oleksiak -- Stephen Johns
Scratched: Julius Honka, Antoine Roussel
St. Louisan and one-time Blue Ben Bishop, Dallas' starting goalie, didn't make the trip because of a sore back, but Hitchcock said he had skated back in Dallas and felt well and should rejoin the team tomorrow.