Blues’ Hutton stops 34 shots in 3-0 win over Penguins
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Carter Hutton shut down the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, and handed them a rare regulation loss at home.
Hutton stopped 34 shots for his sixth career shutout to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 victory over the Penguins on Tuesday night.
Colton Parayko, Ryan Reaves and Scottie Upshall scored to help the Blues end a three-game skid.. Hutton won for the third time in his last four starts and fifth in the last seven to improve to 7-6-2 this season.
Hutton recovered from allowing three goals on eight shots against the Washington Capitals last Thursday. St. Louis had allowed at least five goals in each of its previous three games.
“I just worry about my play,” Hutton said. “I think that’s something I’ve stuck by this whole time. Like I said, I think I could’ve been better in relief coming into games, where I don’t think I have been great all year coming in relief, but it’s tough.
“But my starts, I think have been solid and I just try to keep chipping away at that.”
Matt Murray finished with 24 saves for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game winning streak. Murray, 17-5-1 was 9-0-1 in his first 10 starts at home this season.
“It was a bit of a battle of a game,” Murray said. “Not many chances at either end, but that was the difference in the game. (Hutton) made saves and I didn’t.”
The Penguins, 0 for 6 on the power play, lost in regulation at home for the first time since Nov. 21, when they fell 5-2 to the New York Rangers. They had won seven straight at home since then.
Pittsburgh, averaging a league-best 3.63 goals per game, had scored at least four goals in each of their four straight wins and at least five in three of those four.
“I just thought it was a night where it was a struggle for our team,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It was one of those nights where I don’t think we had a lot of jump. As a result, we didn’t execute as well.”
Parayko gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal with 5:44 left in the first period. David Perron slipped a pass to Parayko, who slid into the slot and fired a slap shot past Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta and through Murray’s five-hole.
The Blues controlled much of the first period and led 12-5 in shots before the Penguins surged late to end the period with the shots tied at 13.
“I think when we play with focus, we defend well,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “But when you’re chasing the game and you’re trying to crack it open, you lose all the little details. We’re not built like Pittsburgh. We’re not built like some of the other teams out here, like Washington.
“So, ours is just attention to defending detail and then all our offense flows from there. When you have a lead or you’re tied, you can do that.”
St. Louis almost took the lead a bit earlier when Patrik Berglund fluttered a shot on net before Parayko grabbed the rebound. Parayko took a point-blank shot, but was denied by Murray’s left pad with 7:33 remaining in the first.
Reaves pushed the lead to 2-0 with 4:17 left in the second. Kevin Shattenkirk passed up the far wall, allowing Reaves to charge past Justin Schultz and toward Murray, who failed to stop his wrist shot. The goal was Reaves’ third of the season and first since Dec. 13.
“Their D played pretty tight in our zone,” Reaves said. “So, I figured if it got out of the zone, I have a chance to blow by them ... I try that move all the time in practice and I put it 10 feet over the net, so it was nice for that one to go in, finally.”
Upshall scored with 5:27 remaining in the third.
Penguins forwards Patric Hornqvist and Scott Wilson each left with apparent injuries during the first period, but returned before intermission.
NOTES: Penguins D Brian Dumoulin returned from a broken jaw sustained Dec. 27 against New Jersey. ... Pittsburgh D Kris Letang missed a fifth consecutive game with a lower-body injury, despite participating in the Penguins’ Tuesday morning skate. ... Penguins F Evgeni Malkin needs three assists for 500 in his NHL career. ... Blues F Paul Stastny is two goals shy of 200. ... D Jay Bouwmeester returned Tuesday after missing the Blues’ previous game against the Winnipeg Jets with a lower-body injury on Saturday.
Blues: At Minnesota on Thursday night.
Penguins: At Boston on Thursday night.