(HockeyStL) -- With Brian Elliott struggling and Jaroslav Halak nursing a sore groin, the Blues called upon rookie Jake Allen to start in goal against the Red Wings in Detroit Wednesday.
The 2008 second round pick was greeted with a goal on the first shot by the Red Wings. The goal came after Alex Pietrangelo missed an opportunity to possess the puck and Tomas Tatar went backhand-forehand-backhand at the top of the crease to score -- in other words, the defense failed again.
The Red Wings would add to its lead a short time later on another defensive breakdown. The give-and-go goal was scored by Drew Miller and assisted by Jordin Tootoo and Jakub Kindl.
Allen was still impressive, with all things considered, stopping nine of eleven shots in the first period of his first start.
The second period brought Allen less action, but he allowed Pavel Datsyuk to score on a bad angle shot from behind the net. The puck bounced off the back of Allen, who was getting back into the net, and tied the game 3-3 at the time.
Allen stopped the only shot he saw in the third period before the game went to overtime. He also faced only one shot in the overtime before Alex Steen scored the game-winning goal 52 seconds in.
It was an impressive win for Allen despite what the final stats may read. He kept the Blues in it after the two early goals were potted.
Joe Louis Arena isn’t the easiest of places to make your first start in the NHL, but it wasn’t the first time Allen played in an NHL game. Allen stopped six of eight shots faced in relief of Elliott against the Predators on February 5.
Allen is 12-16-2 with a 2.94 goals against average and .903 save percentage with the AHL-affiliate Peoria Rivermen this season.