DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche grabbed headlines with their fast start this season. The St. Louis Blues are proving to be a good story, too.
Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves, David Backes had a goal and an assist and the streaking Blues beat Colorado 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Alexander Steen scored his 20th of the season and Jaden Schwartz also had a goal for the Blues, who have won five straight. It was their first victory in Colorado since April 12, 2009.
"I can't tell you the last time we won in this barn, so obviously coming here, it's big getting two points," said Chris Stewart, who was playing for Colorado when St. Louis last won in Denver. "I think I was on the receiving end last time this team won in this barn, so it's a big two points."
The Blues lead the NHL with 18 wins more than a quarter of the way through the season.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 31 shots and Patrick Bordeleau scored for the Avalanche, who had won three in a row.
Colorado coach Patrick Roy was angry after the game with what he considered a double standard. Roy, hired by the Avalanche from the Quebec Major Junior League last summer, took some criticism earlier this season for talking to opposing players during the game.
He took issue Wednesday with St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock.
"I was very mad at the end because I've been jabbed by different coaches around the league, especially Hitchcock when he said that's junior, stop talking to players and talking to the referee," Roy said. "But I saw a guy on the other side who was talking to players and was also talking to the referee. He got the referee even (angry). Seems to me there's different rules for everybody in this league.
"I guess the old guys are allowed to do whatever they want and I guess us, because we're younger, we can't say anything. I'm a little (mad) about that."
Colorado's 17-5-0 start was a franchise best this deep into the season, but the Blues have been the better team lately. They have won 10 of 12 and earned points in 11 of those games.
"We are sticking to the way we play. We have been for the last little while," Steen said. "Pucks are bouncing our way, we are taking care in our own end and our goaltending has been phenomenal."
St. Louis is 4-1 in one-goal games during its recent run and has averaged 3.4 goals.