After spending a week on the bench as Carter Hutton started three straight games, Jake Allen will get back in net for the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.
Goalie Jake Allen has parked on the Blues’ bench recently after an embarrassing stretch during which he gave up nine goals in three straight losses and was pulled in two of them. Carter Hutton led the Blues to two straight wins, including a shutout, and it looked as if there may be a goalie controversy brewing heading into Tuesday’s meeting with the Ottawa Senators.
Hutton gave up five goals on 23 shots in a rough loss to Ottawa, though, so now Allen will receive another shot. The 26-year-old goaltender, who has a 17-11-3 record, .900 save percentage, and 2.76 GAA with a shutout this season, will get back between the pipes as the Blues host the Washington Capitals at Scottrade Center on Thursday night.
Prolonged breaks have had a tendency to work for Allen in the past. After sitting for six straight games from December 29 to January 8 during the 2014-15 season, Allen came back and posted a 11-2-2 record with a 1.78 goals-against average, .929 save percentage, and two shutouts in 18 games.
After a brutal stretch last March during which he gave up 13 goals in three games, getting pulled for Anders Nilsson in one of them, Allen sat back and watched for 10 days as Brian Elliott led the Blues to three straight shutouts as he came off a knee injury.
Allen bounced back in full force when he got back into the lineup, giving up just one goal on 48 shots over the remainder of the season.
Obviously, the Blues have endured greater struggles this season with or without Allen, so it will be interesting to see if the same effects occur. But there’s certainly reason to be intrigued as Allen returns against the Capitals.