St. Louis
Blues
52-23-7
Pittsburgh
Penguins
51-24-7

27 SOG
33 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
STL
PIT
  • Preview
  • Watch
  • Ice Tracker
  • Boxscore
  • Recap
  • photos (42)
game recap

Blues' Elliott outduels Pens' Fleury in shutout win

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 5:40 PM

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

Share with your Friends


Blues' Elliott outduels Pens' Fleury in shutout win
St. Louis Blues 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
Three Stars of the Game
Brian Elliott
1st
SA: 33TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 23-23
PIM: 0PP: 10-10
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
David Backes
2nd
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 6
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 20:29
Marc-Andre Fleury
3rd
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 27TOI: 58:40
GA: 1EV: 21-22
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: .963SH: 2-2

PITTSBURGH -- David Backes scored the lone goal to give the St. Louis Blues a 1-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a defensive-minded game that felt like a worthy preview of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin had just exited the penalty box after taking a high-sticking penalty when Alexander Steen launched a slap shot over Brandon Sutter, who slid to stop a potential pass. The shot deflected off of Backes behind goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Blues the lead with 8:40 remaining in the third period.

Fleury made 26 saves but failed to earn his 35th win of the season for his fourth consecutive start since shutting out the Washington Capitals on March 11. Blues goalie Brian Elliott more than matched Fleury's performance by stopping 33 shots in his fourth shutout of the season.

"I saw a lot [of shots]. Obviously, the ones I didn't, the guys were blocking and made big sacrifices in front of me," Elliott said. "When you're in a tight game like that against a good team, the guys kind of rose up to the challenge and I tried to make a couple saves and get the rebounds out of the zone and they did the rest."

Each of the teams are chasing the Boston Bruins in the NHL standings. St. Louis pulled even with Boston at 103 points, though the Bruins hold the tiebreaker for first place in the standings with more non-shootout wins. Pittsburgh remains six points back of Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Fleury kept the game tied by steering a wrist shot from Patrik Beglund to the right corner with a pad save 5:09 into the third. Elliott answered a little more than a minute later by making a glove save on an Olli Maatta slap shot while falling backward with 13:45 left.

Fleury called the game exciting but said he was frustrated by taking another loss.

"We're going out there to win games and we're just one goal away from tying it up," Fleury said. "But I think we played a good team tonight and we played well. We battled hard with them. So, that's a good thing."

St. Louis faced a two-man disadvantage for 1:32 to start the second period after Jaden Schwartz was called for tripping Malkin with T.J. Oshie in the penalty box and 6.3 seconds left in the first.

The Blues' Western Conference-leading penalty kill erased both penalties allowing three shots. St. Louis smothered Pittsburgh's forwards following the kills by not allowing a Penguins shot during the next 12:15.

"It was huge. There's so much firepower there," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I thought we did a god job of checking all night and obviously guys blocked shots at the right time. I thought between the goalie and the PK, I thought we got in lanes and made them play little bit more static than they wanted to today."

Pittsburgh failed to score on five power plays after scoring on three of their six chances against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

"I think you look at this game, the team we're playing, the best in the West, and you expect it to be a playoff type of game," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "And it was. I thought it was a hard game. There wasn't a ton of room out there for either team. At the end of this one, we have the power-play opportunities in this game."

The Penguins did finish with 13 second-period shots and several scoring chances late in the period. Lee Stempniak had possibly the best chance when he dove at a loose puck in front of the St. Louis crease and tipped it on net, but Elliott was able to slide over to make the save.

Elliott was tested late in the first period but made three key saves to keep the Penguins off of the board.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen fired a slap shot toward the right side of the St. Louis net with Elliott leaning the other direction. Elliott quickly adjusted to make a glove save, but decided to keep the play alive, which resulted in the Penguins getting another chance 21 seconds later.

Malkin, who scored four points a day earlier against the Tampa Bay Lightning, received a pass at the blue line and carried the puck to the Blues crease. He attempted to wrap the puck around Elliott's left pad but was denied his fifth point of the weekend.

Stempniak had a similar chance with 3:33 remaining in the first, but Elliott made another pad save and covered the puck before Chris Kunitz could poke it past the goal line.

Malkin and Sidney Crosby combined for 12 shots but could not get the Penguins on the scoreboard after combining for seven points Saturday in a 4-3 overtime win. Backes played primarily against Malkin and Crosby's lines, but said he didn't try to play any differently than he would against any other team.

"I don't want to give you all of my secrets, but if I was in a skill competition with those two guys I'm going to lose 100 times out of 100," Backes said. "Physical, hard, make them earn their ice. That's the way I play most nights, I'd like to think."

The Blues, who lead the Central Division by six points, are 20-5-1 against the Eastern Conference this season.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
11:20
STL
David Backes (24) Tip-in - ASST: Alexander Steen (24), Alex Pietrangelo (40)
1 - 0 STL
penalty summary
1st Period
11:00
STL
David Backes  Interference against  Brian Gibbons
19:31
STL
T.J. Oshie  Hooking against  Lee Stempniak
19:53
STL
Jaden Schwartz  Tripping against  Evgeni Malkin
2nd Period
04:54
PIT
Robert Bortuzzo  Interference against  Ryan Reaves
12:53
STL
Maxim Lapierre  Charging against  Craig Adams
12:53
PIT
Craig Adams  Roughing against  Maxim Lapierre
12:53
STL
Maxim Lapierre  Roughing against  Craig Adams
3rd Period
09:17
PIT
Evgeni Malkin  Hi-sticking against  David Backes
15:16
STL
Jay Bouwmeester  Tripping against  Evgeni Malkin
20:00
PIT
Evgeni Malkin  Roughing against  Alex Pietrangelo
20:00
STL
Alex Pietrangelo  Roughing against  Evgeni Malkin
goalie stats
Brian Elliott
SA: 33TOI: 60:00
Saves: 33EV: 23 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury
34-16-4
SA: 27TOI: 58:40
Saves: 26EV: 21 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .963SH: 2 - 2

 
TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
Season Tickets
Half Season Plans
12-Game Plans
6-Game Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
My Account
NHL Ticket Exchange

TEAM
Team Roster
Prospects
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Radio Network

SCHEDULE
2013-14 Regular Season
Schedule Downloads
Promotions/Giveaways

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blue Note Insider Blog

MULTIMEDIA
Blues Mobile
Blues VideoCenter
Photo Galleries

FANZONE
Social Networks
E-mail Subscriptions
Bud Light Zone
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Jr. BlueNote Kids Club
License Plates
STL Sports Hall of Fame
Youth Hockey All-Stars

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US