ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaden Schwartz had let enough chances slip by this season.
Jake Allen stopped 27 shots and Schwartz scored early in the third period, leading the St. Louis Blues over the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Saturday night.
Schwartz scored 3:43 into the third off a pass from Jori Lehtera, swiping the puck from in front past goalie Peter Budaj.
“It’s nice seeing it go in. I’ve been missing too many,” Schwartz said. “It was a huge play. I got it off my stick as quick as I could. I wanted to rip that one. I’ve had some this year and missed.”
Allen got his first shutout this season and the 12th in his career.
“You just keep playing your game and try not to let anything faze you,” Allen said. “If you need a shutout, so be it, but you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself. It’s just sort of one minute at a time.”
Schwartz got the first goal by a Blues forward in 169 minutes, 22 seconds. Vladimir Tarasenko also assisted on Schwartz’s first goal of the season.
Los Angeles challenged the play for offsides, but the goal was upheld.
Budaj had 24 saves. He had won five straight dating to last season.
“I think it’s just sometimes good players make a good play,” Budaj said about the goal. “It’s a nice play for them, give credit to them. Sometimes you get bounces and sometimes you don’t.”
Before Schwartz’s goal, the action was sparse in a hard-hitting game. Los Angeles had just 10 shots in each of the first two periods, and the Blues had 13 shots after two periods.
“This was no day at the beach for either team, this type of game,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “This was a heavy, hard, well-played hockey game.”
The Blues have had just one goal in five of their last six games.
“We’re playing kind of like Italian soccer, 1-0, good defense, and it’s just one goal,” Lehtera said. “It’s enough.”
St. Louis has won three in a row against the Kings, who entered play with a four-game winning streak — three in overtime and one in a shootout.
The Kings failed to score on five power-play opportunities. For the season, St. Louis has killed 30 of 32 power plays.
“Killing penalties is just work,” Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. “At the end of the day, your goalie is your best penalty killer and Jake’s been coming up with some big saves.”
The Blues did not score on four chances with an extra man.
Los Angeles defenseman Braden McNabb left early in the third period with an upper body injury and did not return.
St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo has a lower body injury and will be evaluated in 10 days. Bortuzzo was injured early in the third period in Thursday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Detroit. Bortuzzo was skating to the bench after serving a minor penalty and collided with a Red Wings player. … This game was the only regular season meeting for the teams in St. Louis. The other two games will be played in Los Angeles. … The Blues announced Bob Plager’s No. 5 would be officially retired. Plager will join Al MacInnis, Bob Gassoff, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko and his brother, Barclay Plager, as the only players to receive the honor from the Blues. Plager was recognized during the first period. The official ceremony featuring the banner with his number raising will take place Feb. 2 when the Blues host the Toronto Maple Leafs. … Bouwmeester skated in his 999th regular season game.
Los Angeles: Play at Chicago on Sunday.
St. Louis: Play at the New York Rangers on Tuesday.