Preview: Ducks at Blues
After opening the season with six wins in their first seven home games, the Anaheim Ducks suffered a 5-3 loss to San Jose on Thursday that left them with an underwhelming 2-3-2 record on their season-long seven game homestand. The Ducks will look to get back in the win column Saturday as they begin a four-game road trip that starts in St. Louis against the Western Conference-leading and defending Stanley Cup champion Blues.
Down 3-2 midway through the third period, the Ducks found themselves on the power play searching for the equalizer, but instead surrendered a short-handed goal to Evander Kane that cemented the team’s fifth consecutive loss (0-3-2). “I don’t care if you’re at home or on the road, man, every point that slips out of our hand is a missed opportunity,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins told the media. “But we will try to build off the positives, and in the places we can get better, we will try to correct that and get ready for the road.” St. Louis coughed up a third-period lead for the third consecutive game and were handed a 3-2 overtime loss by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday thanks to Zach Werenski’s power-play goal in the extra frame. “Third period we didn’t execute any plays. We were kind of on our heels that period,” Blues coach Craig Berube told reporters. “We can do a much better job of executing in overtime on the power play. We didn’t. Then we take a penalty, they executed and scored.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS West (Anaheim), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (9-9-2): Jakob Silfverberg’s second-period tally was the fifth power-play goal of the season for Anaheim as they rank 30th in the NHL with a 9.4-percent success rate with the man advantage. “This is definitely a tough one to swallow when you feel like you’re kind of right there, but obviously you don’t get the result you wanted at the end of the night,” Silfverberg told reporters after extending his point streak to four games. “That’s kind of been the flavor of the last couple games here.” Rickard Rakell scored his sixth of the season Thursday and has goals in three of his last four games.
ABOUT THE BLUES (12-3-5): St. Louis has gotten accustomed to playing in tight games as seven of its last nine contests have gone beyond three periods with the Blues coming away with victories in five. St. Louis returns home riding a nine-game point streak (7-0-2) thanks to Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and captain Alex Pietrangelo, who each contributed 11 points during the stretch. Pietrangelo saw his four-game point streak end Friday but the 12-year veteran still sits among the top 10 among defensemen in goals (six) and points (17).
1. Six players have more power-play goals this season than Anaheim while St. Louis F Brayden Schenn equaled the Ducks with his fifth Friday.
2. The Ducks lost both home games against the Blues a season ago but secured a 3-2 victory in its only visit to St. Louis.
3. St. Louis G Jordan Binnington will be in goal Saturday after backup G Jake Allen made 36 saves Friday.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Ducks 3