BOSTON, Ma.- A loss is a loss, and the Blues didn't feel good after losing 3-1 to the Boston Bruins on Thursday at TD Garden.
But if there is a silver lining to losing a hockey game is that, at least for a game and in the Blues' eyes hopefully more, No. 1 goalie Jake Allen looked like ... Jake Allen again.
Allen did fall to 1-9-0 in his past 10 starts. Those are facts, and those are numbers Allen would certainly want to change, but in those 10 games, Allen's received 17 goals of support, or 1.7 per game.
Not exactly a ton of offensive support.
But Allen won't make excuses.
Despite the strong outing Thursday making 43 of 45 saves, the Blues' goalie looks at the bottom line.
"Still not good enough," Allen said. "Need to find wins. It doesn't matter if I have 50 saves or seven saves. I have to find a way to win games.
"... I played well, gave the boys a chance, but still I need to find a way to win games. Even if it's 1-0 and I've got to stop all 45 shots, I've got to stop them all. That's the way it is to get back in the net right now."
Allen hasn't been in the net because of some up and down play, but more because of how scintillating Carter Hutton has been.
Hutton leads the NHL with a 1.70 goals-against average and .945 save percentage; he's 8-1-1 his past 10 starts with a 1.72 GAA and .942 save percentage and as Allen's backup, gave no indication that he was ready to relinquish his crease.
And Allen understood that, and that's why he just went about his business to try and get his game back where it belongs the past three weeks.
"I just worked my ass off in practice, every single day honestly," Allen said. "Some days are frustrating not getting in the net, but 'Hutts' has been the best goalie in the league this year and he's more deserving than anyone to be in that net. I'm very appreciative of that, but at the same time, I gotta get back in there and get things going again."
Allen got it going again, and that's what coach Mike Yeo wanted to see his No. 1 goalie do against one of the best teams in the NHL today. The Bruins (30-11-8) are 15-1-4 now in their last 20 games.
"You come off the ice and initially you're thinking, 'I feel bad for Jake,'" Yeo said. "He played a really good game and it's too bad we didn't get the win, but then the more I was thinking about it, no, I'm actually happy for Jake. I'm happy that he played that game. I thought that he was outstanding tonight and if he continues to play like that, then the game will reward him. We'll obviously have a little chat with him and if he has the same mindset, then good things are coming for him.
"I think he rose to the occasion. I think absolutely rose to the occasion. He was outstanding tonight. He looked very confident, he looked very athletic. He looked like Jake Allen, the guy that we expect to look like. Sitting here very disappointed and obviously very upset that we lost the hockey game, but for me, that would be the biggest thing I take out of the game and I'm happy for Jake."
Allen was exceptionally good in the second period when the Blues were turning pucks over, having trouble getting through the neutral zone and in the process, getting outshot 22-6.
"Yeah, he played great. He's been playing well for us," said Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz, who scored the Blues' lone goal. "There's lots of games where we hung him out to dry. We didn't play well enough in front of him. He gave us a big chance to win today. They had a lot of shots, a lot of chances and played really solid for us. We don't feel good for how we played in front of him. We owe him better than that. It's a good learning lesson from a good team."
Allen's start was his first in seven games and just the third in 13 games. Not customary for starting goalies, so what did he do?
"Just making sure I was ready whenever my chance was going to be, whether it was thrown in a period or a sure-fire shock start," Allen said. "It's all about points right now and 'Hutts' was getting us points. That's why he was in the net.
"I don't think it really mattered to me when I started. I don't really care when I was gonna get it. It was just that mattered to me being a win. I knew during the break that I was going to play this game so I was preparing myself for that."