Stastny helps Blues snap 5-game skid with 3-0 win over Avs
AP Sports Writer
DENVER — Paul Stastny tapped in a goal and glided over to the boards.
And who should be behind the glass? Two familiar faces — his wife and young daughter . It made the moment all the more special.
Stastny scored his first goal against his former team, Jake Allen stopped 27 shots and the St. Louis Blues ended a five-game skid by beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Sunday night.
Stastny got the Blues going with a power-play goal early in the first period, his first score in 11 career games against Colorado. He spent eight seasons with the Avalanche before leaving for St. Louis.
“You don’t write it up like that,” Stastny said of having his family front and center. “That was one of those things, you look down the road and it will be something special.”
Kyle Brodziak and Patrik Berglund also scored for the Blues, who moved into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Allen was shaken up with just more than three minutes remaining when Gabriel Landeskog’s wrist shot caught him in the throat. He was checked out by trainers before finishing off his third shutout of the season.
“It just sort of zapped me,” Allen said. “My throat is still killing me right now. It’s tough to talk.
“The win at the end of the day was the most important thing, but to come out and get a couple goals — that took some weight off our shoulders. We’ve had a tough time finding the back of the net and it put some confidence in our team.”
The last-place Avalanche were blanked for the 11th time this season, one away from tying the team record set in 2008-09.
“Whatever the reason was, we weren’t skating and that forces you to just start throwing pucks away and throwing it into areas where there’s nobody going to,” Landeskog said. “We need to be better in that area, no doubt.”
Berglund scored on a power play in the second to give the Blues a 3-0 lead. It ended a seven-game goal drought and also marked his first since signing a five-year extension worth $19.25 million on Feb. 25.
Allen made one big save after another, especially in the second when he thwarted Rene Bourque’s breakaway attempt by stopping the shot with his chest. With around 30 seconds left in the game, he stopped another shot by Bourque.
This was the second half of a back-to-back for the Avalanche. They were routed 6-1 in Winnipeg, leading Landeskog to say the squad looked “like a junior C team.”
Once again, the Avalanche came out sluggish in dropping their fourth straight game.
Stastny and Brodziak scored 1:37 apart in the first to help the slumping Blues get back on track. Stastny’s goal was set up off a precision pass by Jaden Schwartz from down low. Stastny celebrated by pumping both his gloves. He still ranks ninth on the Avalanche’s all-time points list (458).
The extreme fall of his former team is a surprise to Stastny.
“I’ve been in situations like this — you’re a fragile team and don’t have a lot of confidence,” Stastny said. “An opposing team, we try to get that first one and try to take the will out, especially since they played last night, too.”
Jeremy Smith was in goal a night after Calvin Pickard was pulled against the Jets after allowing five goals in 29 minutes.
Forward Sven Andrighetto made his first appearance for the Avalanche. He was acquired in a deal with Montreal, but didn’t join the team in Winnipeg as he waited for a visa.
He was thrown “right in the fire” — coach Jared Bednar’s description — by being paired on the second line with Matt Duchene and Mikko Rantanen. Andrighetto had two shots in 15:14.
“I liked him tonight,” Bednar said. “Steady game, hard-working kid that can skate.”
NOTES: Blues D Jordan Schmaltz made his NHL debut. … LW Zach Sanford was a scratch. He was acquired as part of the recent trade that sent Kevin Shattenkirk to Washington. … Schwartz appeared in his 300th career game. He played at Colorado College in nearby Colorado Springs.
Blues: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday to wrap up a three-game trip.
Avalanche: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
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