Hutton bounces back with shutout, Blues blank Senators 3-0
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By WARREN MAYES
ST. LOUIS (AP) Carter Hutton didn't lose any sleep after getting pulled from his previous game.
"No, I'm all good, believe me," the St. Louis Blues goalie said. "You never want to lose, but you never want to have that happy attitude, either. This game, especially this position, will eat you up if you let things. You hold things inside and then you let it eat away at you.
"You have to process it and move on."
Hutton did just that, making 25 saves for his 10th career shutout as the Blues got goals from Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko in a 3-0 victory over the struggling Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
Brayden Schenn, who also had an assist, added an empty-net goal at 17:34 of the third period. It was his 20th goal of the season.
The game was a bounce-back effort for Hutton, yanked after giving up three goals on 12 shots in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Arizona.
He deflected praise for his performance Tuesday and called it a team win.
"We had a locker room full of angry players, frustrated," Hutton said. "We talked about it. It's one thing to lose - it's hard to win in this league and you're going to lose games - but it's the way you lose sometimes.
"We weren't happy about that and I think the message is clear. We stepped up to the plate here tonight and played a great hockey game."
Hutton, normally the Blues' backup, started for the fourth consecutive game and eighth in the last 10. He earned his second shutout this season.
His play made coach Mike Yeo's decision to stay with him pay off.
"He was real good," Yeo said. "I'm glad that we gave a better performance in front of him. His puck play was real strong."
The Blues have earned at least one point in 11 of their last 12 games against Ottawa (7-1-4). St. Louis had lost four straight home games to the Senators before snapping that skid.
The loss was Ottawa's fourth in a row overall.
The Blues' first goal came when Schenn hit Sobotka in stride. Sobotka snapped a wrist shot that defenseman Cody Ceci could not block. The puck hit the skate of Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, who faced 38 shots in all, and caromed in at 16:21 for a 1-0 lead in the first period.
"That was a great pass," Sobotka said. "There was nothing I could do there but shoot it. I just took the shot and it went in."
Yeo was impressed.
"He's got a good shot, no question," the coach said. "He was engaged in this game from the very beginning."
St. Louis made it 2-0 when Tarasenko ripped a slap shot for his 21st goal at 6:10 of the third.
Tarasenko had just jumped onto the ice when the puck came to him along the boards. Colton Parayko took a shot from the right side that Anderson blocked. The puck slid to Tarasenko, who pounced on it for the goal.
"I think it landed flat, too, which was nice," Parayko said. "He's got quite the shot, so give it to him any way you can. It was a good spot, I guess."
It was Parayko's 20th assist. He is the first defenseman in team history with 20 or more assists in his first three seasons.
Tarasenko has points in six straight games against Ottawa, with five goals and two assists.
A double minor to Robert Bortuzzo for high-sticking gave Ottawa a four-minute power play in the second. The Senators managed just two shots on goal.
"I think we could have definitely done better on our power play in the four minutes we had," coach Guy Boucher said. "They defend well. You've got to give credit to the opponent and their hard work."
Matt Duchene took a puck to the face in the third period.
"He's been in the infirmary the whole time now, so they are working on him," Boucher said. "It wasn't pretty. You get a puck in the face and it's surely not what you want, but it's hockey."
NOTES: The win was the 1,800th in Blues history. They are the eighth team to reach that total. ... Jaden Schwartz was out of the lineup again after sustaining an ankle injury Dec. 9 in Detroit. St. Louis is 8-10-1 since he got hurt. ... Blues RW Scottie Upshall was back in the lineup after missing three games as a healthy scratch. ... Ottawa RW Mark Stone remained out with a lower-body injury. Stone, who leads the Senators with 18 goals and 44 points, left Saturday's game against Toronto and did not play Monday against Minnesota. ... The Blues improved to 16-0-1 when leading after the first period and 22-0-1 when leading after two. ... St. Louis won both games in the season series.
Senators: Host the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Blues: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
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Updated January 24, 2018