Allen makes 28 saves to lead Blues past Stars 3-0
DALLAS (AP) Jake Allen felt no pressure. Even with the game scoreless in the third period.
No rookie jitters. Nerves of a veteran.
Allen made 28 saves for his fourth shutout this season, and Vladimir Tarasenko broke a scoreless game with a goal in the third period in the St. Louis Blues' 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night.
''It happens through the year where goals are tough to come by,'' Allen said. ''But my job is to keep the puck out of the net no matter the situation, whatever the scenario is.''
The Blues added a power-play goal by Alexander Steen and an empty-netter by T.J. Oshie in the final 3:15. It was Allen's fifth career shutout.
''He had to be good today,'' St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. ''You got a desperate (Dallas) team. They're desperate for points.''
Tarasenko skated down the slot and fired a shot past Kari Lehtonen into the lower right corner 3:33 into the third. Tarasenko's second game-winning goal in Dallas this season came with the teams skating 4-on-4.
''I like to play 4-on-4 more because you have more space and you can play more position hockey than 5-on-5,'' Tarasenko said.
Stars captain Jamie Benn shouldered the blame for giving up the go-ahead goal.
''I lost my guy there, and it's in the back of the net,'' Benn said. ''I take the blame for that one. I can't be giving a player like Tarasenko much time, where he shot from. That's unacceptable, and pretty much all my fault.''
Steen and Oshie each had a goal and an assist, and teammate Alex Pietrangelo had two assists. St. Louis killed all six Stars power plays. The Blues' penalty killers have been successful in 29 of 30 chances over the last nine games.
''The right people did the right things in the third period for us,'' Hitchcock said. ''The people that were on the ice for the power play had to do the job. (Tarasenko) scored the big goal for us.''
Neither team scored in the first period, even though Dallas had two power plays and St. Louis had one. The Blues didn't put a shot on goal during their power play.
Dallas missed another power-play opportunity, without a shot, 3 1/2 minutes into the second period. The Stars' Jyrki Jokipakka had a scoring chance 5 minutes after that when he shot high, then sent the rebound off the glass into Allen.
Tyler Seguin had the only shot on goal near the end of Dallas' next power play, but Allen stopped the puck on his short side and fell on the rebound.
Lehtonen gloved a drive from the right point by Alex Pietrangelo at 16:26 of the second. Each team finished the period with seven shots.
Just 1:40 into the third period, Tarasenko corralled a loose puck and shot, but Lehtonen made the save. A short time later, Dallas defenseman Jason Demers cleared a loose puck that was sitting in the crease.
The Stars had a chance to tie the game 7 minutes into the period during their fifth unsuccessful power play, but St. Louis' Paul Stastny cleared a loose puck away from the crease.
The Stars had won three straight games on the road, but fell to 13-14-8 at home and remained six points away from the Western Conference's final wild card. The Blues started a six-game trip with a win one night after losing at home 3-1 against Minnesota.
''We looked exhausted in the first and then we got better and better in the second and third,'' Hitchcock said. ''We started skating. We looked like we were energized.''
NOTES: Tarasenko has five goals in four games against the Stars this season. He had an overtime game winner on Oct. 28. ... Blues C Patrik Berglund played in his 500th NHL game. ... C Olli Jokinen returned after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. ... Stars D Trevor Daley (knee) missed his sixth straight game and D John Klingberg (upper body) sat out his third in a row. ... Dallas killed one of two penalties after going 20 for 21 in the previous eight games. ... The Stars have the NHL's worst goal differential in the third period, 89-68. ... Lehtonen had been 8-1-2 in his previous 11 games. ... The Stars are 2-5-3 in their last 10 home games.