Preview: Blues at Canucks
There should be little doubt as to which forwards St. Louis coach Craig Berube will send on the ice first when the Blues visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. St. Louis has won four straight games - all by one goal and three in overtime - and in each contest, the fourth line consisting of Oskar Sundqvist, Ivan Barbashev and Mackenzie MacEachern has started.
"They’re working well together,” Berube told reporters after the Blues won at Minnesota 4-3 in overtime Saturday. “They’re doing a real good job for us with the energy and setting the tone for our game. Our guys feed off their hard work and physical play.” Vancouver returns home after capping a 2-0-1 road trip with a 5-2 victory at San Jose on Saturday and has earned a point in seven straight games (5-0-2). "We're playing with a lot of confidence," Canucks center Elias Pettersson, who was named the NHL's first star of the week Monday, told reporters. "Nothing comes easy in this league, and we focus a lot on work hard, outskate teams, and good things happen." Vancouver defeated St. Louis 4-3 on Oct. 17 on Josh Leivo's goal during the sixth round of the shootout for its third victory in the last four meetings.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE BLUES (9-3-3): MacEachern scored his first goal of the season Saturday and has four in 37 career contests. Ryan O'Reilly (club-most 16 points) has recorded three goals and five assists in his last four games while Brayden Schenn paces the team with 10 goals. David Perron (team-best plus-4 rating) has seven goals and 15 points after scoring twice and recording seven points during the winning streak.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (9-3-2): Pettersson had three goals and nine points in four games last week and boasts six goals and a team-high 20 points in 12 outings since being kept off the scoresheet in the season's first two contests. Brock Boeser (club-best seven goals) had two assists Saturday and owns five goals and nine points in his last five games. J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat have six goals apiece while Brandon Sutter has five after scoring in two straight contests and three of four.
1. Vancouver rookie D Quinn Hughes (10 points) could return Tuesday after missing Saturday's game with an ankle injury.
2. St. Louis D Jay Bouwmeester (21:06 average ice time this season) will play his 1,200th contest Tuesday.
3. The Canucks have outscored their opponents 49-27 during a 9-1-2 stretch after losing their first two games of the season.
PREDICTION: Canucks 3, Blues 2