Elliott earns shutout, then picks up win in shootout as Blues edge Flyers

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ST. LOUIS — Brian Elliott didn't want to blink.

The St. Louis goalie and Steve Mason, his Philadelphia counterpart, both earned shutouts on Thursday night. Elliott also came away with a win as the host Blues edged the Flyers 1-0 in a shootout to give coach Ken Hitchcock his 700th regular-season victory.

"It's kind of whoever blinks first," Elliott said. "Mason played unbelievable down at the other end, so I was just trying to keep pace. We played our game that we wanted to, I think, and my guys were blocking shots."

Elliott didn't blink. He made 25 saves in regulation, then three more in overtime before stopping both Philadelphia attempts in the shootout.

Mason turned aside 35 shots but T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko both scored in the tiebreaker.

"Everybody is kind of scraping right now to get to the top," Elliott said. "We're right there. Every point matters. When you've got a couple guys like that (Oshie and Tarasenko) burying the shootouts right away, it makes my job a lot easier and puts the pressure on them."

The Blues, winners of three straight and five of seven, improved to 43-19-5 overall and 24-8-2 at home. Hitchcock, the former coach of the Flyers, became the fourth coach to record 700 wins, joining Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour and Joel Quenneville.

"Every day we play we're trying to become harder and harder to play against, and that's what was nice today," Hitchcock said. "We didn't give them very much. We were hard to play against, very determined on the puck.

"That's what we're trying to build here. That group, the way it's going to get built here, we're not going to be fun to play against if we play the right way."

Elliott record his fourth shutout of the season and 29th in his NHL career, including 20 with the Blues. That tied the franchise record set by his former teammate Jaroslav Halak.

Elliott credited his teammates for the shootout, and specifically pointed to the effort they made in blocking shots in front of him.

St. Louis was credited with 23 blocked shots, including five apiece by defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Carl Gunnarsson.

"It was huge," Elliott said. "It was a lot of blocked shots, a lot of sacrifices. It makes my job a lot easier, and I can kind of just focus on the puck."

Mason posted his third shutout this season and 26th in his career for the Flyers, who lost their fourth straight. Philadelphia fell to 28-27-14 overall and 9-18-8 on the road.

"It was good game overall," Mason said. "I was happy with that. Got some help from the posts, which you need sometimes. Schultzie (Nick Schultz) made a big save there in the third period.

"It's not an easy place to play in, that's for sure. They're a big heavy team. Especially at home, the Blues play a hard game."

Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds were both stopped by Elliott in the shootout for the Flyers, who have dropped five straight away from home.

"We had pucks on net, we had our chances, and we've got to find a way to put it in," Flyers forward Claude Giroux said. "A loss is a loss. Obviously, we got a point, but we want two. We need to play more 60 minutes, and we had chances. I think we had our chances."

The Flyers had plenty early. They had three power plays in the first period and another in the second.

The Blues' penalty-killers, who entered ranked 13th in the NHL at 81.6 percent, have killed 21 of 22 power plays over a seven-game stretch.

The Flyers killed two penalties and caught a break when Alexander Steen's shot from the left circle with 39 seconds left in the second period hit the far post.

Steen hit the post again late in the third, when the Blues outshot the Flyers 17-9. St. Louis outshot Philadelphia 33-28 in regulation, but the Flyers outshot the Blues 3-2 in overtime.

"I thought it was a very good effort," Philadelphia coach Craig Berube said. "Tough building. Tough team. I thought we did a good job against them. I thought it was a hard game. Both goalies played well."

NOTES: Blues LW Chris Porter was in the lineup for the first time since Feb. 21 when he injured an ankle. He opened the game on the first line with David Backes and Oshie. ... St. Louis D Jay Bouwmeester returned after missing two games because of an illness. ... Philadelphia signed F Cole Bardreau to an entry-level contract. Bardreau led Cornell in scoring this season.

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