The Blues have been searching for a No. 1 goaltender for years, and they may have finally found it.
After platooning with Brian Elliott during the first few weeks of the season, Jake Allen is 6-1-0 since starting the year with two consecutive losses and has registered three shutouts — tied for the league lead — along the way. His goals against average of 1.79 ranks fourth among all goaltenders while his .941 save percentage ranks third, on pace for career highs in both categories.
Allen's coming out party started on Nov. 4 when he relieved Elliott and stopped 27 of 28 shots to help the Blues overcome a three-goal deficit and steal a 6-5 overtime victory from their arch-rival Blackhawks at the United Center.
The former second round pick by St. Louis in the 2008 draft followed that up by posting back-to-back shutouts against the Predators and Devils, stopping a total of 79 shots. Allen had his shutout streak snapped at 170 minutes, 53 seconds when he allowed an early first period goal in a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday.
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In that loss, Allen was yanked with a little more than five minutes left in the opening period after allowing three goals on five shots, although he was not credited with the loss.
But Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said Friday afternoon that he's going right back to Allen on Saturday when they clash with the Blackhawks again — this time at the Scottrade Center — which means Allen is being given the chance to solidify his No. 1 spot by proving he can bounce back from a rough outing.