ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Blues goalie Chad Johnson swears he wasn’t in a special zone or mindset. The San Jose Sharks might disagree.
Johnson made 33 saves for his first shutout with St. Louis, helping the Blues beat the Sharks 4-0 on Friday night.
“I don’t really think about being locked in or on,” Johnson said. “I don’t think about how I feel. You kind of go out there. You prepare. I prepare the same way every day. I just try to feel the same way or not feel at all.”
Alex Pietrangelo, Ryan O’Reilly, Jaden Schwartz, and Alexander Steen scored. The Blues have won four of five games after winning just two of their first eight to start the season.
“We’re rolling four lines good,” Pietrangelo said. “We’re using everybody in every situation. There just seems to be good jumps, so when every line is getting out there, it seems like there’s a lot of energy.”
Johnson started just his third game of the season, but his second straight. He improved to 2-2-0 with his first shutout since November 2016 with the Calgary Flames.
“We’ve kind of been leaving our goalies out to dry,” Pietrangelo said. “They’ll make the first save. It’s our job to take care of the second ones. We’re doing a great job right now taking care of them.”
Pietrangelo roofed a shot past goalie Aaron Dell with both teams down a man to open the scoring in the first period. Dell allowed four goals on 31 shots to fall to 1-2-2.
“It’s been horrible,” Sharks center Logan Couture said about the team’s defense. “It’s not just the d-men, it’s forwards. It’s not good. It’s not good enough in American League level. It’s ugly right now.”
San Jose lost its second consecutive game and was shutout for the second time this season.
“The last two games haven’t been good,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. “We’re not going to make more out of it than it is. We were playing some pretty good hockey up until the last two games.”
In the second period, O’Reilly buried a feed from Jaden Schwartz for his team-leading eighth goal of the season to give him points in a career-best nine consecutive games. He is the first St. Louis player to register a nine-game point streak in his first season with the team since Doug Weight accomplished the feat Oct. 4-25, 2001.
“He does the right thing in his preparation,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s working hard. He’s prepared. Mentally and physically he’s prepared to play the game.”
Later in the second, Schwartz snapped a four-game scoring drought when he beat Dell on a pass from Tyler Bozak for his second goal of the season.
Steen scored his fourth of the season 12:21 into the third period to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.
St. Louis failed to convert on four power play opportunities snapping a streak of six straight games with a power play goal.
Blues RW Vladimir Tarasenko extended his points streak to a season-best six games (four goals, four assists). … LW Nikita Soshnikov made his season debut after being sidelined with post-concussion syndrome to start the season. … San Jose has allowed at least three goals in nine consecutive games. … Sharks D Brent Burns played in 406th consecutive game, the longest streak among active players.
Sharks: Host Calgary on Sunday to open a six-game homestand
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