Preview: Devils at Blues
Their best player is in the midst of a torrid stretch and so are the St. Louis Blues, who have found their stride and will vie for their seventh consecutive victory against the visiting New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. The season-high winning streak has vaulted the resurgent Blues into the top wild-card spot on the tightly bunched Western Conference.
Vladimir Tarasenko registered a hat trick as St. Louis earned its fourth straight one-goal decision with a 5-4 overtime win in Nashville on Sunday to complete a back-to-back sweep of the Predators. "We're going to need him to keep doing that," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said of Tarasenko, who has seven goals during an eight-game point streak. "He's on a roll." While St. Louis has matched its longest winning streak since March 2018, the Devils are well out of contention in the Eastern Conference and relegated to playing spoiler. New Jersey, which is tied for the fewest road wins in the NHL with seven, lost its ninth straight (0-8-1) in the series and six in a row at St. Louis.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus (New Jersey), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (21-26-8): Center Nico Hischier logged more than 23 minutes in back-to-back games last week but made the most of a reduced workload against Carolina to collect three assists, leaving him one point shy of 40. "He’s got so much hockey in him," linemate Marcus Johansson said of the 2017 No. 1 overall pick. "His hockey sense, and he battles every night, every situation. He’s improving every day I think. He’s got a big role on this team, and he’s taking it very well. He’s playing the right way every night." Johansson had his first multiple-goal effort of the season in Sunday's win.
ABOUT THE BLUES (27-22-5): Rookie netminder Jordan Binnington has been instrumental in St. Louis' charge up the standings and on Monday was named the NHL's First Star of the Week after going 3-0-0 with a 1.31 goals-against average, which was highlighted by a shutout of league-best Tampa Bay. Binnington is 9-1-1 with a 1.72 GAA since he was summoned from the minors on Jan. 7 and has won five consecutive starts. "Probably over that stretch, he's been the best player in the league," said fellow netminder Jake Allen, who registered 40 saves Sunday in his first appearance since Jan. 17.
1. Tarasenko's hat trick put him over 20 goals for the sixth straight season and gave him 200 for his career.
2. New Jersey claimed F Kenny Agostino off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.
3. The Blues are 8-for-73 on the power play since Dec. 1.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Devils 2