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Recap: Oilers , Blues
Date: January 19, 2012 8:00 PM EDT
  

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jaroslav Halak is making it look easy in goal for the surging St. Louis Blues.

Halak made 15 saves for his second straight shutout, and Alex Pietrangelo scored with 5:14 left in the Blues' 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

St. Louis has earned points in a franchise-record 14 straight home games. The Blues are 7-0-1 in January, an NHL-best 20-3-3 at home and lead the league with nine shutouts.

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The Blues are tied for second overall in the NHL, a point behind Detroit.

Edmonton has dropped 12 of its last 13 road games.

Halak, coming off a 1-0 victory over Dallas on Monday, has four shutouts this season and 20 overall. He improved to 10-0-3 in his last 13, hasn't allowed a goal in 148:25 and hasn't lost in regulation since Nov. 22.

A far cry from his 1-6 start over the first month of the season.

``It was like a bad dream,' Halak said. ``I had to put it aside and forget about what happened. Start over, that's what I had to do.'

Halak has posted the fourth-longest scoreless streak of his career. He went a career-best 160:08 without allowing a goal last season.

Pietrangelo scored his eighth goal of the season on a wraparound. He has at least one point in a career-best eight games. He said Halak has played well all season and is just finally getting the proper results.

``He stood on his head earlier in the year too,' Pietrangelo said. ``We just weren't scoring for him.'

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said Halak simply returned to the basics.

``He's aggressive, he's sound and he's compact,' Hitchcock said. ``When you've got the flexibility that he has, good things are going to happen.

Thanks to Halak and teammate Brian Elliott, St. Louis leads the league with a 1.94 goals-against-average.

Pietrangelo gave Halak all the necessary support with his fourth game-winning goal of the season. He picked up a loose puck behind the net and slipped it behind Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

``I am lucky enough to have a long stick,' Pietrangelo. ``I was able to reach around before he got over there. I was going to stuff it in no matter what.'

Khabibulin made 37 saves and kept his team in the game.

``It's fair to say we were outplayed,' Khabiblin said. ``We just seemed a step behind especially in the first period.'

Edmonton defenseman Andy Sutton was impressed with the Blues' performance.

``They came out with tremendous pressure and intensity,' Sutton said. ``That's the way hockey was meant to be played.'

St. Louis outshot the Oilers 17-0 in the first 7:11 and held a 19-4 advantage in the first period. Edmonton got its initial shot on goal with 12:07 left in the period.

The Blues had 5-on-3 power play chances in the second and third periods but could not solve Khabibulin, who entered the game with a 6-1-2 career mark against St. Louis.

NOTES: Edmonton LW Taylor Hall, who has 15 goals, missed his second straight game after sustaining a 30-stitch cut near his eye in the pregame warmup Tuesday night in Columbus. Hall was not wearing a helmet when he bumped into a teammate and fell onto the skate of Corey Potter. ``I'm just unlucky because something like this has never happened in the history of the sport,' Hall said. Hall is listed as day-to-day. ... St. Louis D Kris Russell returned after missing nine games because of a groin injury. ... Edmonton is 6-13-2 on the road since Nov. 23. ... Blues LW Alex Steen missed his 10th straight game because of concussion-like symptoms. ...The Blues have outshot their opponents 153-89 over the last four games but hold a small 6-5 advantage in goals.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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