Blues’ strong defense earns shutout

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Blues’ strong defense earns shutout

The Boston Bruins were content being outshot by nearly a 2-to-1 ratio against St. Louis.

The Bruins focused on defense, forcing the Blues outside for shots that Tuukka Rask saw clearly and had no trouble stopping in a 2-0 win Tuesday night.

Rask made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season, which came against a Blues team that had won 10 of 11.

“You’re always going to get little ups and downs during the games, but for the most part we kept things tight and played a good game,’’ said Rask, who didn’t leave many rebound opportunities. “Whenever we play defense like that and keep them on the outside for the most part, it makes my job easier and I expect to make those saves. That was my job.’’

Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug scored for the Bruins, who ended a six-game home losing streak against the Blues. Boston hadn’t won at home against the Blues since Jan. 30, 2001.

“We have to realize that for a long time now, every team was ready to play us,’’ Boston Coach Claude Julien said. “This is a good team to measure ourselves up against. So those are easier games to get up for. We’ve been on the other side of that, where we’ve seen every team come hard at us in the past, and that’s what we face.’’

Brian Elliott made 15 saves for St. Louis, which outshot Boston 33-17 but was outplayed by the Bruins.

“They kept us on the perimeter all night. I know we had a lot of shots on goal, but we weren’t really a threat,’’ Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We were trying to make the extra play all night, rather than pound it in and look for the grease goal.’’

Bergeron scored 5:45 into the game after Matt Fraser forced a turnover with Elliott caught behind the net. The Blues’ pass went to Bergeron at the side and he hit the puck into the net.

While the goal was unassisted, Bergeron credited Fraser for setting up the play with his forechecking.

“He was solid from the first shift on and made some great plays. He uses his feet a lot and it definitely works to his advantage,’’ Bergeron said. ‘’He caused a turnover and I was lucky enough to get the puck there.’’

That stood as the only goal until Krug made it 2-0 on a wrist shot that deflected off Blues defenseman Ian Cole’s hip and got past Elliott with 8:29 left in the second period. Loui Eriksson and Matt Bartkowski got assists, and Bartkowski added a great defensive play with just under two minutes left in the period. AP

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