Friday, January 10, 2014
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Blues torch Flames for seventh straight win

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[January 10, 2014]  CALGARY, Alberta  The St. Louis Blues continued their streak.

The Calgary Flames continued their slump.

The Blues won their seventh consecutive game on Thursday night with a 5-0 road victory over the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Center Vladimir Sobotka and right winger Vladimir Tarasenko each registered a goal and assist, and right winger Chris Stewart and defensemen Ian Cole and Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Blues (31-7-5).

St. Louis is undefeated since a Dec. 23 shootout loss in Calgary, having collected points in 10 straight games.

"It's a good feeling in here," Blues captain David Backes said. "We have different guys stepping up and different guys picking each other up when they falter. It's a good recipe."

The Flames (15-23-6) were shut out for the second consecutive game and fifth time in a seven-game span, with four of those on home ice.

Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves to become the latest to leave the Scotiabank Saddledome with a shutout. Flames netminder Karri Ramo, who had a tough assignment against the NHL's highest-scoring squad, stopped 24 of 29 shots.

"We can't score goals in this building, for whatever reason. We have to dig down. Enough is enough," Flames center Matt Stajan said. "We can't be satisfied just with good chances. We have to score. It's the NHL, you can't win in this league if you don't score."

Stewart opened the scoring at 9:32 of the first period, blasting a shot behind Ramo after a pass from center Derek Roy from behind the net.

Sobotka added to the lead just over two minutes later, scoring on a wrist shot to extend his point streak to four games.

Not long after Flames right winger Jiri Hudler hit the goal post on a power play in the second period, Tarasenko spotted Cole in the slot and set the defenseman up for another goal.

Pietrangelo and Tarasenko each added power-play goals early in the third period as the Blues turned it into a rout.

The Blues finished 2-for-6 on the power play and the Flames failed on six chances despite firing 10 of their 33 shots on the man-advantage.

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"It's always nice to get a win," Halak said. "It's more special when you get a shutout. Tonight, they had a few chances. They hit the post. It could've been a different game had it gone in, but luckily for us, it stayed out. I think our power play and PK came through for us."

The Blues are back in action on Friday night against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena and the Flames await Saturday's visit from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Flames, who have just five goals in seven games since Christmas, will have to solve their scoring woes before their faceoff against superstar Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

"To score goals, we know that's the toughest thing to do in the NHL, and right now, we're certainly getting a good lesson in this," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "I feel for my players because I see them work every day.

"For many players, it's pretty tough to ask for more than they're giving us right now. They care. I see them, basically, mentally destroyed after some games. But we're proud and we're going to keep fighting."

NOTES: The Blues have an 9-0-4 record against Canadian teams this season ... St. Louis G Jaroslav Halak was back in the crease after missing more than a week of action because of illness. The Blues are still without their leading scorer, LW Alex Steen (concussion), and D Roman Polak (ankle). ... Flames RW David Jones missed a third consecutive game because of an eye infection. LW Curtis Glencross (ankle), C Blair Jones (knee) and D Kris Russell (knee) also were out for Calgary ... The Flames were one of four NHL organizations with two minor-leaguers selected Thursday for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic against Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League. C Ben Street and D Chad Billins will represent the Flames' top affiliate, the AHL's Abbotsford Heat, at the exhibition event. G Jake Allen (Chicago Wolves) was the only Blues prospect picked for the AHL team.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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