Allen stops 24 in another shutout, Blues blank Devils 2-0
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Coach Ken Hitchcock and the St. Louis Blues have come to expect the exceptional from Jake Allen.
The streaking goalie made 24 saves for his second straight shutout, Martin Havlat scored against his former team and the Blues beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Tuesday night.
''He's been playing good, but I can say that every night,'' Hitchcock said. ''He's been solid. He's been that way for a while. He's been aggressive in net, and that's a good thing.''
Allen, coming off a career-high 45 saves in a 4-0 win Saturday over Nashville, had an easier time against New Jersey. It was his third shutout this season and the eighth of his career.
''It's more about getting back-to-back wins,'' Allen said. ''The shutouts are just bonuses.''
Havlat, who signed with St. Louis last week after spending last season in New Jersey, opened the scoring in his season debut. The goal was set up by Scott Gomez, who also played for the Devils last season.
Both landed with the Blues as free agents.
''Marty is a good, smart player,'' Hitchcock said. ''That whole line was good. The way we've been going, he really helps us. He was a good get for us. He's a good fit.''
Magnus Paajarvi added a goal in the third period, and the Blues won for the sixth time in seven games while improving to 7-1 in their last eight against the Devils.
Cory Schneider stopped 26 shots for New Jersey, which was 8-2 in its previous 10 games.
The Devils outshot the Blues 11-6 in a scoreless first period. Although New Jersey had the shot advantage, the Blues had two of the best chances thanks to Vladimir Tarasenko.
He tested Schneider with a hard drive off a right-wing rush early in the game, and later had another good chance when Kyle Palmieri coughed up the puck outside the blue line. Tarasenko broke into the Devils zone, only to be denied by Schneider's pad stop.
The Blues stepped up the tempo in the second period, and the pressure paid off with the goal by Havlat.
St. Louis opened the frame with an 11-1 edge in shots. Havlat scored at 4:57, flipping a high shot from between the circles past Schneider.
The feed came from Gomez, as the former Devils celebrated returns to New Jersey.
''Marty did a great job in his first game,'' Allen said. ''I think it's a sign of how we all just play together and find ways to get it done.''
The Blues finished the period with a 14-4 shot advantage, and the one-goal lead.
''You have to give a lot of credit to St. Louis,'' Devils coach John Hynes said. ''They turned up the temperature in that second period. They played real strong. We never got back to the level we were at in the first period.''
Paajarvi upped it to 2-0 in the third, netting the rebound of Alex Pietrangelo's shot at 3:28.
The remaining drama centered on Allen's shutout bid. He made a sharp stop on Mike Cammalleri's rebound bid midway through the period.
Damon Severson did fire a shot past Allen as time expired. A video review determined the puck entered the net too late to count.
''They're a tough team with a lead,'' Devils center Travis Zajac said. ''They have a good goalie, good structure. We were just never able to tie it up.''
NOTES: It was also the first appearance in New Jersey by longtime star goalie Martin Brodeur in his role as assistant general manager of the Blues. Brodeur returned before the season when the Devils announced his No. 30 will be retired Feb. 9. Brodeur received a standing ovation when his image appeared on the video board during a first-period stoppage. ... It was the third game of a four-game road trip for the Blues that concludes against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. ... Devils D Adam Larsson will not face additional discipline for his hit on Vancouver's Jared McCann on Sunday. Larsson received a 5-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. The NHL's Department of Player Safety reviewed the play and decided not to impose a suspension or fine. ... The Devils wore camouflage jerseys during the pregame warmup as part of Military Appreciation Night.