(HockeyStL) -- Jake Allen’s performance on a perfect road trip forced the Blues to ride the hot hand into the Scottrade Center Tuesday night.
In search of the team’s first win at home since January 27, Allen was met by a struggling but hungry Sharks team that hadn’t won any of its previous seven games played in February.
It was a busy start for the rookie goalie. Watch highlights
The Sharks flared nine shots at Allen before the ten-minute mark of the first period. Allen stood tall as he answered each with a save and was not challenged with another shot until 30 seconds into the second period.
Joe Thornton would finally get one past Allen four minutes into the second period. The goal came after a pad save trickled to Thornton with the net wide open on the weak side.
It was a rough one to let up, but Allen never wavered as he continued to keep the Blues in a tie game until a freak shot from Tim Kennedy squirted under Allen’s arm and just past the goal line.
“It knuckled on me. It’s one of those goals I definitely want back,” Allen said. “That’s the way the game goes. Those things happen sometimes so I wish they didn’t -- tough way to go down.”
The goal which came just under seven seconds was the deciding one and gave the Sharks its first victory this month.
“First ten minutes he made some great saves,” Barret Jackman said. “He made a lot of saves from point blank. He stepped up big tonight again and just like he has the last four games. He’s a great goaltender. He’s really giving us a chance to win.”
Tuesday’s loss marked the first of Allen’s young career. He became the first Blues goalie since Reinhard Divis, who won his first five decisions between 2002 and 2004, to win each of his first three starts.
Allen, who stopped 23 of 25 shots faced in the loss, was one of the few players Blues coach Ken Hitchcock praised afterwards.
“Our goalie was great. We didn’t give up much after the first six minutes, but we didn’t get much either,” Hitchcock said. “It was an unfortunate second goal, but when you’re constantly scoring one goal at home there’s a reason -- you’re not going in the hard areas, you’re not doing the hard things.”
The Blues are expected to start Jaroslav Halak against the Avalanche Wednesday. It will mark his first game since injuring his groin February 1 against the Red Wings.