After allowing four goals on 16 shots on Tuesday, Blues goaltender Brian Elliott bounced back in a big way by posting a 28-save shutout in St. Louis 1-0 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
It was Elliott’s fourth shutout of the season and his 20th since joining the Blues in 2011-12. That puts him in a tie with his former goaltending partner Jaroslav Halak for the franchise record.
T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko each scored for St. Louis in the skills competition while Elliott beat Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds.
Elliott’s efforts made head coach Ken Hitchcock the fourth bench boss in NHL history to reach the 700-win mark. It was a particularly appropriate game for him to accomplish that feat as the 63-year-old bench boss coached the Philadelphia Flyers for parts of four seasons. He also was in charge of the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets at various points in his career.
As it happens, all three of the coaches ahead of Hitchcock on the wins list are also former Blues bench bosses. Joel Quenneville (745 wins) leads the Chicago Blackhawks now, but he spent parts of his first eight seasons in charge of the Blues. Scotty Bowman (1,244) got his start with St. Louis too, running the team from the 1967-68 campaign until he was replaced by Al Arbour (782 wins) during the 1970-71 campaign. The four legends have won the Stanley Cup as a head coach a combined 16 times, but never with St. Louis.
Hitchcock hopes to become the first this year.
The St. Louis Blues did an excellent job of battling back from a 5-2 third period deficit to earn a single point in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
However, there was some confusion over the Blues’ goaltending situation.
After allowing four goals on 21 shots, Jake Allen was pulled in favor of Brian Elliott. Elliott backstopped the Blues to a 2-1 win on Saturday and was supposed to have the night off.
Elliott allowed one goal on six shots before leaving the game early in the third period.
Allen returned and finished the game.
Elliott appeared agitated when leaving leading some to speculate the goaltender had pulled himself from the game.
Post-game Ken Hitchcock cleared the air.
The Blues’ coach said he pulled Elliott from the game.
“I was thinking, ‘All I’ve gotta do is get him hurt,'” said Hitchcock per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Hitchcock was then asked if Elliott pulled himself.
“No, that was me,” Hitchcock said. “He was mad he was coming out. I just told him to relax.”
Allen didn’t seem thrilled about going back into the game.
With the point in the loss the Blues move four points back of the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators.
The St. Louis Blues held on to beat the Arizona Coyotes by a final score of 2-1, and Ken Hitchcock picked up another milestone victory in his coaching career, moving right alongside Dick Irvin Sr for fourth on the all-time list.
Dmitrij Jaskin scored the winning goal, and the seventh of this season, just past the midway point of the second period. He also had five hits. His backhand off the rush somehow found room and got by Mike Smith, just trickling over the goal line.
“I didn’t see it (go in) until I went behind the net. It was a good surprise to me,” said Jaskin, as per Lou Korac of NHL.com.