Preview: Blue Jackets at Blues
The St. Louis Blues received just enough offense to win for the second time in three games without Vladimir Tarasenko, who is expected to be sidelined five months following shoulder surgery. Winners of four of their last five overall, the Blues look to continue their ascent on Friday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"We won a lot of low-scoring games last year too with Vladdy," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said following Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Minnesota. "There's nights you're going to have to win games like that, and I thought our guys did a good job. They dug in and found a way to win a game." Sammy Blais, who replaced Tarasenko on a line with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz, scored in that contest before captain Alex Pietrangelo capped his first multi-point performance of the season by snapping a tie in the third period. While the Blues eked out a win in their last outing, the Blue Jackets answered a string of eight straight one-goal games by dropping a pair of three-goal decisions. "A lot of things in there are disappointing," captain Nick Foligno said after Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Edmonton. "That's two games in a row where we probably haven't played our best. It has to be nipped in the bud here pretty soon."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Columbus), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (5-5-2): Pierre-Luc Dubois carries an eight-game point streak (five goals, three assists) into Friday's tilt after notching an assist on Zach Werenski's goal against the Oilers. Werenski's tally from below the goal line was one for the record books, as his 41st career regular-season marker tied Rostislav Klesla for the most by a defenseman in franchise history. Riley Nash resides one assist away from 100 in his career while Boone Jenner needs two helpers to reach triple digits, although he did tally twice in the 2018-19 season series versus St. Louis.
ABOUT THE BLUES (7-3-3): St. Louis has been relying on Jordan Binnington since the goaltender began his Cinderella season midway into the 2018-19 campaign. The 26-year-old turned aside 35 shots versus the Wild to improve to 4-0-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in six home contests this season. Reigning Selke and Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Ryan O'Reilly has collected at least one point (one goal, four assists) in four straight games against Columbus while fellow forward Brayden Schenn has five assists in his last three meetings with the Blue Jackets.
1. Columbus is 5-0-0 this season when the scoring the game's first goal, and 0-5-2 when it does not.
2. The Blues have won nine of their last 12 encounters with the Blue Jackets.
3. Columbus recalled LW Markus Hannikainen from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Thursday.
PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 4, Blues 2