Blues beat Avalanche 3-1, keep pace with Stars atop Central

Brian Elliott made 20 saves and Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 36th goal to lift the St. Louis Blues over the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

David Backes and Troy Brouwer also scored for the Blues, who are tied with Dallas atop the Central Division after the Stars beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 Tuesday night.

Colorado has lost three of four and trails Minnesota by five points in the battle for the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Both teams have five games left.

St. Louis goalies Elliott and Jake Allen had combined for four successive shutouts coming into the contest.

Colorado center Mikhail Grigorenko ended the run by scoring late in the first period, snapping the franchise-record scoreless string at over 258 minutes.

Elliott is 21-7-6 and had his scoreless streak halted at 198:12. He stopped 74 consecutive shots before Grigorenko's goal.

Alexander Steen assisted on power-play goals in each of the first two periods. Steen had missed the previous 15 games with a shoulder injury.

He set up the go-ahead goal with a long stretch pass to Paul Stastny, who fed Brouwer to set up a 2-on-1. Brouwer converted for his 16th goal at 9:30 of the second period.

Tarasenko scored just under 3 minutes later to push the lead to 3-1.

Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves.

NOTES: The most recent goal scored on St. Louis before this one was an empty-net tally in Edmonton on March 16. ... St. Louis D Jay Bouwmeester missed his third straight game with concussion-like symptoms. Bouwmeester missed four games in January with a concussion. ... Colorado LW Gabriel Landeskog has 99 career NHL goals. ... The two top scorers for the Avalanche — Matt Duchene (29 goals) and Nathan MacKinnon (21 goals) — both missed the game with knee injuries.