Preview: Blues at Penguins
The St. Louis Blues have endeared themselves to the residents of the Gateway City with their spirited play at home, but their recent run on the road has been nothing short of spectacular. The Blues attempt to equal a franchise-record road points streak on Wednesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"Yeah, I'm not even sure what the point streak is, but we get up for games," said Jaden Schwartz, who scored and set up a goal in St. Louis' 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday and repeated the feat two nights later in a 4-0 romp over Chicago. Monday's win pushed the Blues' road point streak to 10 games (8-0-2), one shy of the franchise record set during a 10-0-1 run in 2000. Matching that mark may prove difficult if Pittsburgh continues its strong play at PPG Paints Arena, where it sports a 10-3-2 record this season. Former Hart Trophy recipient Evgeni Malkin erupted for two goals and three assists in his last home contest on Nov. 27 before extending his point streak to three games by setting up three tallies over the next two tilts.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE BLUES (18-5-6): Former Penguins forward David Perron recorded at least one assist in his fourth consecutive contest and extended his point streak to eight games (three goals, six assists) on Monday after setting up Schwartz's power-play goals over the last two outings. Mackenzie MacEachern has doubled his goal total by tallying in back-to-back contests while Brayden Schenn rebounded after seeing his six-game point streak come to a halt versus Pittsburgh by netting his team-leading 14th tally on Monday. Reigning Selke and Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Ryan O'Reilly, who leads the team with 20 assists, set up a pair of goals against the Penguins to push his point streak to four games before being held off the scoresheet versus the Blackhawks.
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (14-9-4): Pittsburgh's prevalent season-long theme of injuries reared its ugly head in the first period against St. Louis, as defenseman Brian Dumoulin sustained an ankle injury that will keep him out of the lineup for a minimum of eight weeks. "He's one of the backbones of this team and it will be a tough spot to fill," fellow blue-liner Marcus Pettersson said. "You know what you get from him every night. He's so consistent, and he plays big minutes." As for positive news, fellow defenseman Justin Schultz returned to practice wearing a no-contact jersey on Tuesday after missing the past six games with a lower-body injury.
1. Pittsburgh G Matt Murray has answered a 7-3-0 record and 2.20 goals-against average in October with a 2-2-4 mark with a 3.53 GAA in November.
2. St. Louis G Jake Allen sports a 4-0-2 record with one shutout, a 1.78 GAA and .946 save percentage in his last six starts.
3. Penguins C Jake Guentzel was held off the scoresheet in the first meeting with the Blues, snapping his career high-tying seven-game point streak (seven goals, six assists).
PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Blues 2