ST. LOUIS — After six consecutive games out of the lineup. Jake Allen was ready when the St. Louis Blues need him to step in for an ineffective Brian Elliott.
Allen stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced over 46 minutes through overtime and then all three Carolina attempts in the shootout as the Blues beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 Saturday night for their fourth straight win.
"You feel so much better when you go in there starting than sitting on the bench and the ice is already chewed up," llen said. "It feels like it's been forever since I played and I just try to work as hard as I can in practice and prove that I want to start and I want to play."
The 24-year-old spent five of six games since Dec. 27 in street clothes while playing behind Elliott and 42-year-old Martin Brodeur. He got his chance against Carolina after Elliott gave up three goals on 10 shots over the first 12:42.
Vladimir Tarasenko tied the score at 4-all early in the third period, T.J. Oshie had the lone goal in a shootout.
"We had glorious chances at the end but we couldn't put it in," Jiri Tlusty said. "But we'll take the point."
The Blues got a tough matchup from Carolina, last in the Metropolitan Division and with the second-fewest goals in the NHL. St. Louis had won each of the previous three by five or more goals for the first time in franchise history.
"It's not always going to be pretty," defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "It's not always going to be easy to win."
Oshie beat Cam Ward to open the shootout with his characteristic slow-motion approach. He led the NHL with nine shootout goals last season but started this season 0 for 3.
"I've been so worried about the ice because of the format now without the Zamboni's coming out," Oshie said. "I had to just go out there and try to make a good move and if it rolled, it rolled.
"She stayed flat for me, for the most part, and I was able to put it in."
Carolina, 3-1-1 in January after a 3-10-1 December, got goals from Victor Rask, Jeff Skinner, Eric Stahl and Riley Nash.
"You know they're going offensively, so you've just got to be a little bit more aware, but we also have to play our game," Nash said. "We've been pretty good defensively all year so it's just one of those things."
Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had an apparent game-winner disallowed with 1:52 remaining in overtime because Patrik Berglund clicked skates with Ward in the crease. Berglund, Alexander Steen and Jaden Schwartz had a goal apiece and Pietrangelo had two assists.
Steve Kozari was the lone referee on the ice for that call, and much of the game, after Rob Martell injured a knee in a collision in the second period.
The Blues' two first-time All-Stars were scoreless until Tarasenko got his 23rd goal off a stretch pass from Kevin Shattenkirk.
St. Louis had allowed just 28 first-period goals all season before springing leaks that led to Elliott getting yanked early. Stahl's breakaway capitalized on a tumble by Shattenkirk after David Backes' blind centering pass cleared the offensive zone.
Coach Ken Hitchcock said he made the move because Elliott wasn't sharp and neither were the skaters in front of him. He also juggled the lines some.
"It was anything I could do to try to change momentum," Hitchcock said. "Really good for Jake to come in and help us a little bit."
Hurricanes coach Bill Peters used his timeout after Schwartz scored his 14th off a giveaway by Stahl and Berglund tied it at 5:01 of the second.
Carolina regained the lead on Nash's goal out of a scrum late in the second.
NOTES: The Flames were the last team to win three in a row by five or more goals, doing it March 24-28, 1999. ... The Blues have eight players with 25 or more points, most in the NHL according to STATS, with Pietrangelo hitting that milestone. ... Stahl has a goal in three straight games. ... Berglund has a goal in two straight but just six on the season. ... Attendance of 19,411 was the Blues' seventh of the season.
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