CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Alex Steen scored two goals and Brian Elliott made 25 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Jori Lehtera and David Backes also scored for St. Louis, which won for the fifth time in six games and moved into sole possession of first place in the Central Division — one point ahead on Nashville.
The Blues are in a three-way tie for first overall in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers.
Jonas Hiller made 22 saves to fall to 21-18-4 for Calgary, which tumbled out of a Western Conference playoff spot after Winnipeg beat San Jose earlier Tuesday. The Flames entered in third place in the Pacific Division.
Calgary is even with Los Angeles in points, but the Kings are third in the Pacific because they have played one fewer game.
The Blues held the territorial edge for much of the first half of the game, but the game remained scoreless until Steen scored at 11:32 of the second period.
With St. Louis leading 2-0 in the third period, Steen put the game away at 9:38 with another perfect shot. He drove a slap shot just inside the goal post off a faceoff.
After going 13 games without a goal, Steen has three in the last two games and 22 this season.
It is the second shutout in three games for Elliott, who improved to 24-11-2.
Calgary, which kicked off a five-game homestand, has lost consecutive games on the heels of a six-game winning streak.
The Flames had mustered only 10 shots when Steen opened the scoring in the second period. But Calgary had a couple of chances after that goal and nearly tied it a couple of times.
In one scramble in front of the net, Johnny Gaudreau’s attempted wraparound sailed through the crease. Shortly after, in another flurry, Mikael Backlund had two shots from in front that were thwarted by Elliott.
St. Louis netted an insurance goal 1:18 into the third period, taking advantage of a giveaway by T.J. Brodie.
NOTES: Backlund’s eight-game scoring streak was snapped. … Barret Jackman was a healthy scratch for the Blues, missing his first game of the season. Only Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Tarasenko have played in all 70 games. … Calgary D Kris Russell played in his 500th NHL game. … The Flames gave up an empty-net goal for the first time this season. They have scored nine.
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