For the fourth time this season, the Blues were able to get a win with scoring just one goal.
Jamie Langenbrunner found the back of the net at 8:38 of the second period and Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves to give the Blues a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Halak recorded his fifth shutout, which ties him with teammate Brian Elliott for third in the NHL.
“Jaro made some pretty miraculous saves,” Langenbrunner said. “He’s playing the way that he’s capable of.”
Halak credited his teammates on the hard-fought victory.
“We kept the shots under 25,” Halak said. “The guys were great; they were blocking the shots and they were there at the right time for me and I was there at the right time for them.”
Halak was not only stopping the routine saves. Two of his saves came at opportune times in the second period off the sticks of Dustin Brown and Colin Fraser, while the biggest save of the evening came against Justin Williams with just over 5 minutes left in regulation. After receiving the puck in front of the net, Williams went to the forehand and slid the puck along the ice. Halak kicked his left leg pad over and amazingly stopped the puck from entering the net.
“I was just at the right time [and] in the right place,” Halak said. “Lucky for me they just hit my pads. I’ll take it anytime.”
The lone goal came off a two-on-one break with Matt D’Agostini and Langenbrunner. D’Agostini broke in after stepping around Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. He slid the puck to a waiting Langenbrunner, who fired a slapshot over goaltender Jonathon Quick.
“It was a great individual effort [by D’Agostini],” Langenbrunner said. “It was a great play.”
“He’s got a bomb,” D’Agostini said of Langenbrunner. “I don’t know why he doesn’t score more often.”
Quick made 32 saves in the loss. He now has a 22-13-9 record for the Kings, who stayed in seventh place in the Western Conference after tonight’s game.
Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was impressed with the play of both teams.
“It was a great playoff game,” Hitchcock said. “Both teams put a lot into this thing and if we ever played each other it would be one heck of a series. I’m really happy with the way we competed. I thought the first period we played was as good as we’ve played for a month so it was good to see.”
But Hitchcock is looking to the Blues’ schedule for the rest of the season, which has the Blues playing in just 12 more home games and 20 more away games.
“If we expect to make the playoffs, we’re going to have to be .500 on the road. We can’t keep [just] winning all the home games because there’s going to be games that we come back to [Scottrade Center] when we’re tired.”
“We’re not going to have the advantage of being the rested team like we did in January.”
The Blues did have a scary moment at 11:19 of the third period when Kings forward Dustin Brown hit Blues center Jason Arnott shoulder-to-shoulder, sending Arnott to the ice. He had to be helped off the rink by teammates and Blues trainer Ray Barile.
Hitchcock delivered good tidings after the game, though.
“He’s day to day with a shoulder [injury],” he said. “He’s going to be on the trip and we’ll see how he is in the morning but it’s not significant right now. We’ll see if he’s ready for tomorrow; if not we’ll get him ready for Ottawa so it’s not serious.”
The Blues next game will be tomorrow night when they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators at 7:00 CDT. They will then travel to Canada and play the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at 6:30 CDT.
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