Carter Hutton, St. Louis Blues blank Philadelphia Flyers

By Chuck Gormley, The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 7, 2017 at 7:20 AM
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PHILADELPHIA -- After allowing 13 goals in three previous appearances, goaltender Carter Hutton had something to prove to coach Mike Yeo and the St. Louis Blues.

Hutton stopped all 26 shots he faced and received goals from forwards Paul Stastny and Kenny Agostino to lead the Blues to a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

"He looked like a confident goalie tonight," Yeo said. "He was great right from the start. He looked calm in the net but was still challenging and getting aggressive."

Hutton's shutout was his third of the season as the Blues won for the second time in three games since Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1 after a 1-5-0 stretch.

The Blues, who play their next four games on the road, improved to 26-22-5, while Hutton hiked his record to 8-7-2, thanks in part to 22 blocked shots.

"For us, this is a big road trip," Hutton said. "I just try to be the calm in a little bit of madness. Philly's got a lot of big guys in front of the net and we did a great job of limiting their second chances."

Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped 14 of 16 shots to fall to 8-5-1.

The Flyers (26-21-7) have lost two games in a row and have not scored a regulation goal in either game.

Their three leading goal scorers -- Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek -- have not scored in their past four games.

"The last 10 or 15 games we're not scoring a whole lot of goals," said Schenn, who has just one goal in his last nine games. "Obviously, in this league you have to play good defense but you also have to score goals and we're just not getting them right now."

Agostino was leading the AHL in scoring when the Blues recalled him to replace injured forward Robby Fabbri, who will be out all season with a torn ACL. The 24-year-old Agostino scored on a breakaway 2:10 into the third period, beating Neuvirth under the crossbar to give the Blues a 2-0 lead. It was his first NHL goal since April 4, 2014, as a rookie member of the Calgary Flames.

"(David) Perron just sprung me, great pass, and I had a lot of time," Agostino said. "It looked like (Neuvirth) was leaning a little bit to the left so I went top right and it worked out."

The Flyers dominated the Blues in the opening period, outshooting them 11-1, but failed to convert on two power plays, and the teams skated into the second period locked in a scoreless tie.

It was the fourth straight game in which the Flyers failed to score a first-period goal.

"We rope-a-doped them a little bit," Yeo said. "We were defending way too much."

The Blues were awarded a four-minute power-play midway through the second period when Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald clipped St. Louis forward Scottie Upshall with a high stick. The Blues failed to score on the double minor, but Stastny netted his 15th goal of the season 16 seconds after MacDonald's penalty expired.

Stastny's goal, his third in three games, came with 4:38 remaining in the second period on a tricky redirection of Kevin Shattenkirk's point blast.

Stastny turned his right skate blade to deflect the puck past Neuvirth. The Flyers challenged the goal, contending the puck left the offensive zone before the goal. However, replays of Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson keeping the bouncing puck in at the blue line were inconclusive and the goal stood.

"In my opinion, the puck is probably out of the zone," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "I can't think anybody can prove it beyond a doubt by video. It's a tough call."

NOTES:

-- The Blues were without F Robby Fabbri, who learned Sunday that he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Fabbri, 21, finished his season with 11 goals, which ranked fourth on the Blues behind Fs Vladimir Tarasenko (23), Paul Stastny (14) and Jaden Schwartz (13) heading into Monday's game. Fabbri's 18 assists were one off his total last season as a rookie.

-- Second-year Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere, who has gone 27 games without a goal, sat out his third straight game as a healthy scratch. RW Travis Konecny returned to the lineup after missing two games as a healthy scratch. He replaced Matt Read, who scored the winning goal for the Flyers in their last victory.

-- The Blues continue their five-game trip on Tuesday night in Ottawa. Remaining stops are Toronto, Montreal and Detroit.

-- The Flyers continue their season-high five-game homestand Thursday night against the New York Islanders. They close their home stretch against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

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