Blues head into All-Star break with 3-1 win against Avalanche

Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues went into their bye week on a bad note with a 7-4 loss but they went into the All-Star break on a high with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night at Scottrade Center.

The Blues scored twice on the power play, from Paul Stastny and Brayden Schenn, and then got a goal from Alexander Steen with 1:20 to play to seal their second win in a row and fourth in five games.

Colorado was trying to pull its goalie when Alex Pietrangelo got the puck to Vladimir Sobotka on a two-on-one. Sobotka waited before passing to Steen, who controlled the puck and then beat Jonathan Bernier to end it.

The Blues took a 2-1 lead into the third period and then had to hold on for their lives. Colorado had the puck in the Blues' end for most of the period but the Blues and goalie Carter Hutton held on under some steady pressure. The Blues had a few chances, but couldn't score on a three-on-one midway through the period or when Steen came down one-on-one against Colorado's Samuel Girard, who didn't have a stick.

The Blues looked at the five games in between their bye week and the All-Star break as a little mini-season to be attacked all out. The Blues won the first two, threw in a stinker against Arizona, and then closed with strong defensive efforts.

The win gave the Blues some breathing room over Colorado, one of the teams chasing them in the Central Division. The win put the Blues up six points on Colorado, the fifth-place team in the Central, and kept them two points in back of second-place Nashville.

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Hutton stopped 36 of 37 shots he faced to record his fourth win in five games. Other than the Arizona game, where he allowed three goals, Hutton allowed one goal or fewer in the other four games.

Jaden Schwartz made his return after missing six weeks with an ankle injury and played 18:22, with four shots on goal.

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