ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carter Hutton is making it hard for Blues coach Mike Yeo to take him off the ice.
Hutton made 36 saves, Brayden Schenn scored in his fourth straight game and St. Louis beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Thursday night.
Alexander Steen scored for the fourth time in his last five games, Paul Stastny also scored and Alex Pietrangelo had a pair of assists for the Blues, who have won four of five.
Hutton has stopped 61 of his last 62 shots and helped the Blues earn points in eight of his last nine starts, going 7-1-1 with a 1.81 GAA, a .938 save percentage and one shutout in that span.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to our team and defensemen,” Hutton said. “We’ve got a big defensive group who doesn’t give up a lot of second chances and I’m able to see a lot of shots and when I do give up a rebounds, guys are there fighting for pucks.”
Alexander Kerfoot scored for the Avalanche, who lost their second straight after winning 10 in a row. Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves. Colorado dropped consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 5-7.
Hutton came up big as the Avalanche controlled the third period. Hutton made tough saves on Gabriel Landeskog and Nikita Zadorov while Colorado sent 14 shots to the net.
“I know he didn’t let in any the other night and let in one tonight but to me this one was better,” Yeo said.
The Blues have won eight of their last nine and have points in 11 straight games against the Avalanche.
Stastny put in a rebound on Alex Pietrangelo’s slap shot to give the Blues a 1-0 lead with 4:07 left in the first period. The power-play goal was Stastny’s third against his former team.
“I think we’re just working harder to get the puck whether it’s rebounds or off the faceoff or off the break out,” Stastny said of the power play. “And from there it’s all second chances.”
Bernier kept the Avalanche close as the Blues held a 17-8 shots advantage in the first. Bernier stopped Patrik Berglund on a short-handed chance at 1:41 and got help from his post on Tage Thompson’s drive at 7:10.
Schenn’s power-play goal gave the Blues a 2-0 lead with 8:32 left in the second.
Kerfoot got the Avalanche on the board by putting in a rebound on Anton Lindholm’s shot with 2:51 left in the second. Lindholm’s assist was his first NHL point.
“I think at times we could have done a better job of getting traffic to the front of the net and make it more difficult on (Hutton) but he played well,” Kerfoot said. “I mean their whole team played a good game at home here.”
The goal ended Hutton’s shutout streak at 97:09. Before that, Hutton made tough saves on Mikko Rantanen, Blake Comeau and Gabriel Borque as the Avalanche outshot the Blues 15-9 in the second.
“They come in waves, they get their chances off the rush,” Hutton said. “In zone they’re good.
They make a lot of pop plays, hit guys for a lot of one-timers. It was a great game.”
Steen’s goal with 1:20 left in the third gave the Blues a 3-1 lead and extended his points streak to five games. It was his 173rd goal as a Blue, passing Red Berenson for eighth among forwards on the franchise list.
NOTES: Blues activated F Jaden Schwartz from IR and placed F Magnus Paajarvi on waivers. … Avalanche D Erik Johnson was drafted first overall by St. Louis in 2006. … The Avalanche scratched C Colin Wilson, L J.T. Compher and D Mark Barberio. … The Blues scratched D Carl Gunnarsson, R Chris Thorburn and C Oskar Sundqvist.
Avalanche: Travel to Vancouver on Tuesday night.
Blues: Host Montreal on Tuesday night.
By JOE HARRIS, Associated Press
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