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Blues pull away in Winter Classic

ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko looked quite comfortable at Busch Stadium. It turns out his wicked wrist shot works outside, too.

Tarasenko scored twice in the third, Jake Allen stopped 22 shots and the Blues beat the Blackhawks 4-1 in the Winter Classic on Monday at baseball's Cardinals' longtime home.

Tarasenko is "a hungry offensive player. He sniffs out coverage issues and he jumps on it," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When he's engaged like he was (Monday) and like he's been for the most part this year, he's dangerous. He's always one shift away from breaking the thing wide open."

As usual, Tarasenko deflected the attention away from himself.

"It's not about my goals. We have a great team and a great goalie," Tarasenko said. "It was a great win for us and everyone played their best."

It was 46 degrees when play began before a sellout crowd of 46,556, the sixth largest for a Winter Classic. Bobby Hull and son Brett dropped the ceremonial first puck. Bobby wore a Blackhawks jersey and Brett wore the Blues sweater.

The Blues went ahead 2-1 when Tarasenko made a backhand pass that hit the skate of Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and slipped by Corey Crawford at 12:05 of the third.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: A day after placing defenseman P.K. Subban on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, Predators general manager David Poile said he is hopeful the former Norris Trophy winner's stay on IR is brief. "I think his timeframe is going to be a good one," Poile said. "I've got my fingers crossed on that." … The Canadiens signed goaltender Al Montoya to a two-year contract extension.

Blues pull away in Winter Classic 01/02/17 [Last modified: Monday, January 2, 2017 7:42pm]
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