Preview: Canucks at Blues
St. Louis Blues forward Brayden Schenn wasted little time paying significant dividends on the eight-year, $52 million contract he signed earlier this month. Schenn carries a five-game goal-scoring streak into the Blues' opener of a four-game homestand versus the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
Schenn's goal-scoring surge has helped St. Louis secure a 3-1-1 mark in that stretch, although the club fell short in the final two contests of its four-game road trip. Linemate Vladimir Tarasenko finally found the net for the first time this season in Monday's 3-2 overtime loss against the New York Islanders, although he gashed Vancouver for two goals and an assist in three games in 2018-19. The Canucks, who posted a 2-0-1 mark in those contests, sport a three-game winning streak entering the opener of their four-game road trip on Thursday. "We've talked about being a 60-minute team," Vancouver coach Travis Green said after his team's 5-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday. "We want to be a team that kind of plays the same way all the time. When we don't have the puck, we want to look very similar in our work ethic, in our compete. I thought (Tuesday) was probably our best game."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet 1, FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (3-2-0): Green challenged his charges to step up their game on the power play and J.T. Miller delivered, with the 26-year-old scoring two of Vancouver's three goals with the man advantage against the Red Wings. "It doesn't always work how you plan it, but we just kept doing a lot of the same things. We shot a couple more pucks and I think it was just a matter of time," Miller said. Reigning Calder Trophy recipient Elias Pettersson, who joined Alex Edler with a goal and two assists on Tuesday, erupted for seven points (two goals, five assists) in the season series versus St. Louis.
ABOUT THE BLUES (3-1-2): Jaden Schwartz may have a new nickname after President Donald Trump called him "Jason" during the Stanley Cup champions' trip to the White House on Tuesday. "Being able to see (the Oval) Office and get a tour of the White House, it doesn't get much better than that. This is (something) you'll remember forever," the 27-year-old Saskatchewan native said. Ryan O'Reilly, who was the Conn Smythe Trophy recipient last spring, shares the team lead in points (seven) with Schenn despite being held off the scoresheet in three of the last four games.
1. Vancouver RW Brock Boeser has one goal and four assists during his three-game point streak.
2. Blues G Jordan Binnington made 23 saves to win his lone encounter with the Canucks last season.
3. Vancouver's Thatcher Demko will draw a second straight start with fellow G Jacob Markstrom currently away from the team while tending to family matters.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Canucks 2