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Blues stay hot in shutout of Sharks

Dec 11, 2011 - 4:39 AM
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Brian Elliott made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and the St. Louis Blues edged the San Jose Sharks, 1-0, on Saturday.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored the only goal at the end of a 5-on-3 with 26 seconds remaining in the first period.

Elliott stopped four shots in the first period, nine in the second and made 11 saves in the third to earn his 13th career shutout. The Blues killed six San Jose power plays to improve to 3-1-0 on a five-game homestand.

They are 11-2-3 since Ken Hitchcock became head coach on November 6, taking over for the fired Davis Payne.

"It was workmanlike," Hitchcock said of his team's performance. "It wasn't pretty and it isn't ever going to be pretty against a team that's as big and competitive as San Jose is. But I just thought from forwards to [defensemen] to everybody, we just battled."

Antti Niemi was a hard-luck loser, making 18 saves for a Sharks team that had trouble finding good scoring chances.

"I was disappointed with the desperation of our first two power plays in the first seven minutes of the game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I thought that's where we lacked a little bit and their confidence went up in that situation."

San Jose, coming off a 2-2-0 homestand, started a three-game, four-day road trip that also includes trips to play Chicago and Colorado.

Shattenkirk scored on a shot from the top of the right circle as St. Louis' 5- on-3 power play expired. David Perron set him up with a cross-ice pass and David Backes set a screen in front.

Elliott lowered his goals-against average from 1.56 to 1.45 and raised his save percentage from 94.4 to 94.7. Both numbers lead the NHL.

Game Notes

The Blues, who have won seven of their last nine, wrap up their five-game homestand against the New York Rangers on Thursday. They were 1-for-5 on the power play.