The Blues have a chance to push L.A. even further back in their rear view on Wednesday, and they’ll look to the red-hot Jake Allen for help.
Allen will go for his fifth consecutive win tonight when St. Louis takes on the Ducks in Anaheim. With a win, the Blues will move six points clear of the idle Kings for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
They have to like their chances, given the way Allen’s played in March.
In four games, he’s allowed just five goals on 125 shots for a sparkling .960 save percentage. That includes Monday’s big 3-1 win over the Kings, in which he made 38 saves.
It’s fair to say no St. Louis player has benefited more from Ken Hitchcock-to-Mike Yeo coaching change than Allen (to be fair, Allen also got a goalie coach change, from Jim Corsi to Martin Brodeur). Allen was also strong in February, posting a .933 save percentage while allowing three goals or fewer in each of his 10 appearances.
— Tonight’s Battle of Pennsylvania will see Matt Murray and the Penguins take on Steve Mason and the Flyers. Murray is coming off a 27-save shutout in Vancouver on Saturday, while Mason makes his seventh start in the last eight games.
— Jimmy Howard made 26 saves in a win over Chicago last Friday (his first game returning from injury), so he’ll draw back in tonight when the Red Wings take on the Avs. Calvin Pickard starts after making 34 saves in a 1-0 loss to Arizona on Monday.