Preview: Blues at Senators
The St. Louis Blues responded to a season-opening overtime loss by posting back-to-back wins, although each game has been decided by one goal and ended with an identical score. The Blues will look to take advantage of one of the league's lesser weights when they continue a four-game road trip with a visit to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
St. Louis squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss to Washington in its opener but skated to a 3-2 win over Dallas before opening the trek by holding down high-scoring Toronto. "The boys have been battling through all three games we've played so far, and that was another good comeback victory," goaltender Jordan Binnington said. "That's a good hockey team over there, so it felt good to get the win." Ottawa followed up a 5-3 setback at Toronto with a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers in its home opener, drawing the ire of coach D.J. Smith. "There's just some guys that didn't play at the level they have to play and that won't be acceptable," Smith said. "You'll either drop down a line or you won't get to play."
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), RDSI, TSN5 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE BLUES (2-0-1): Captain Alex Pietrangelo reached a pair of milestones while netting the tiebreaking goal against Toronto, notching his 400th career point and 23rd game-winning tally to eclipse Al MacInnis for the most in franchise history. St. Louis practiced Wednesday for the first time since last Friday and among the participants was Robert Thomas, who has been sidelined the past two games. “He’s not ready tomorrow yet,” coach Craig Berube said. “But he was better, so it was good news. And it’s good he’s out there and practicing.”
ABOUT THE SENATORS (0-2-0): One positive came out of the matchup against the Rangers -- Ottawa swung a trade with New York and acquired forward Vladislav Namestnikov. “I’m happy to have him because I think he’s going to add a lot to our roster and looking forward to having him here," said forward Chris Tierney, a teammate of Namestnikov in the minors. "He’s a smart player and a guy that’s easy to play with. He makes other players better.” Rookie Vitaly Abramov, called up on Monday, skated on the fourth line at Wednesday's practice.
1. Blues F Vladimir Tarasenko has seven goals and nine points in 11 games versus Ottawa.
2. Senators G Anders Nilsson, who will make his season debut, is 1-2-1 with 13 goals allowed against St. Louis.
3. Blues F Ryan O'Reilly has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 20 games against the Senators.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Senators 2