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Allen makes 43 saves in return to action but Blues lose to Bruins, 3-1

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

BOSTON -- Jake Allen made a strong return to goal for the Blues, stopping 43 of 45 shots he faced, but the Blues still can't score with him in goal as the Blues lost to the Bruins, 3-1, on Thursday night, ending their three-game winning streak.

The Blues got a late goal from Jaden Schwartz, his first since returning from the ankle injury that kept him out 20 games, to make it 2-1 with 1:32 to play, but with Allen on the bench for a sixth attacker, former Blue David Backes stole the puck from Schwartz and scored with under a second remaining.

This was Allen's first start since Jan. 9 thanks to a combination of some losses for him and some excellent play in net by Carter Hutton, who had started the six previous games. Allen saw many of those shots in the second period, when Boston had 22 shots on goal.

"I think he absolutely rose to the occasion tonight," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "He was outstanding."

"Hutts has been the best goalie in the league this year and he's more deserving than anyone to be in that net," Allen said. "I'm very appreciative of that, but at the same time, I gotta get back in there and get things going again."

Boston got a goal in the first period from David Krejci that the Blues unsuccessfully challenged for goaltender interference -- two Boston players had slid into Allen, knocking him well out of the crease -- and then got their second goal on a power play in the third period when Patrice Bergeron whipped a pass from David Pastrnak past him with 10:55 to go.

"I was almost in the corner, right?" Allen said. "I think you guys got a pretty good look at it. Probably should have been goalie interference."

Yeo declined comment.

A short while after that, Allen made possibly his best save of the night, extending his glove hand as he laid on the ice to block a shot by Backes.

 

Though the Blues scored three goals in each of Allen's past two starts, this game looked a lot like the games for Allen before that, when in seven consecutive starts, the Blues didn't score more than two goals for him.

On the Krejci goal, Allen never saw it after making the initial save, then was knocked out of the play. Alex Pietrangelo and Joel Edmundson were able to keep the puck out of the net, but they couldn't clear it and Krejci backhanded it into the net.

The league said that it wasn't interference because Allen's momentum was already taking him out of the play, and a loose puck in the crease is open to everyone.

On the goal by Schwartz, Brayden Schenn sent the puck to the far post where Schwartz redirected it. It was the 15th goal of the season for Schwartz and 30th assist for Schenn.

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