ST. LOUIS _ St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock joined an elite group Thursday _ at his former team's expense.
The Blues outlasted the visiting Flyers in a shootout, 1-0, and Hitchcock became the fourth coach in NHL history to reach the 700-win plateau. He joined Scotty Bowman (1,244 wins) , Al Arbour (782) and Joel Quenneville (746).
Oddly, all four coaches spent time directing the Blues.
"It's been fun," said Hitchcock, who won a Stanley Cup while coaching in Dallas. "It doesn't feel very long, and I've really enjoyed most of the stops, and I've really enjoyed working with this group."
Brian Elliott made 28 saves for the Blues, and Steve Mason had 35 stops for the Flyers. Both were credited with shutouts.
"Mason played unbelievable down at the other end, so I was just trying to keep pace," Elliott said after the Blues moved past Nashville atop the Central Division standings. "We played our game that we wanted to, I think. My guys were blocking shots. You saw (Petteri) Lindbohm go down in a butterfly to take one in the chest. That's the sacrifices guys were making."
Mason, who put together one of his best outings of the season, now has more road shutouts his season (two) than road wins (one). He is 1-10-6 on the road, and the Flyers have scored two or fewer goals in 15 of those 17 games.
Hitchcock, 63, talked sincerely about Flyers coach Pat Quinn when he spoke about his journey to his 700th win. Quinn, who died in November, had 684 career victories.
Said Hitchcock: "It it really started to impact me emotionally when I got to where Pat was at, and then with him passing away suddenly ..."
Hitchcock coached the Flyers from 2002 to 2007, and he is on pace for his 10th season with at least 100 points. He had three such seasons with the Flyers.
Numbers Dept. Mason has a 0.97 goals-against average and .971 save percentage in his last two games _ and has losses in both of them.
Breakaways. Injured defenseman Michael Del Zotto will skate at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees Friday, but almost definitely will not be ready to play Saturday afternoon against visiting Detroit, GM Ron Hextall said……A fit-looking Chris Pronger, who is not quite totally recovered from the aftermath of his concussion, attended the game and visited with Hextall. Pronger said he enjoys working for the NHL's Department of Player Safety…..Thursday marked the first time in franchise history that the Flyers played consecutive games in a road building where neither team scored a goal during regulation or overtime, according to Flyers PR guru Brian Smith. The Blues also scored a 1-0 shootout over the Flyers here last year.