Preview: Golden Knights at Blues
The St. Louis Blues look to avert matching a season-high four-game winless skid on Thursday when they open a four-game homestand versus the Vegas Golden Knights. The Blues answered a sterling 6-1-1 stretch with consecutive three-goal losses to Pittsburgh, Toronto and Buffalo.
"We've got to find a way to win. We've got to fight through this adversity," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said following Tuesday's 5-2 setback to the Sabres. "You're going to get bumps in the road like this. You've got to grind through it and get through it." Perhaps a date with the Golden Knights is just what the doctor ordered, as the Blues swept Vegas last season and boast a 4-0-2 mark against the club since it entered the league in 2017-18. The Golden Knights answered eight losses in 10 games (2-6-2) with a sterling 5-1-1 stretch, highlighted by a 5-1 victory over Chicago on Tuesday. Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 28 shots on an emotional night, as the three-time Stanley Cup champion played his first game since the death of his father.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountains (Vegas), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (16-12-5): Reilly Smith, who leads the team with 13 goals, enters Thursday's tilt with three goals and five assists in his last eight games after collecting one of each versus the Blackhawks. The 28-year-old was held off the scoresheet in all three meetings with St. Louis last season after scoring a goal and setting up two others in the 2017-18 series. Alex Tuch is also surging along with four goals and as many assists in his last six games overall.
ABOUT THE BLUES (18-8-6): Injury-riddled St. Louis could see the welcome returns of Alexander Steen (ankle) and Oskar Sundqvist (lower body), who skated with the team in Buffalo. Reigning Selke and Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Ryan O'Reilly, who leads the Blues with 21 assists this season, is riding a three-game point streak (three goals, one assist) versus Vegas. Jaden Schwartz has set up four goals in his five contests against the Golden Knights while defenseman Colton Parayko has four points (one goal, three assists) in the same span.
1. Vegas C William Karlsson snapped a 10-game goal drought with his ninth of the season on Tuesday.
2. Blues C Brayden Schenn, who leads the team with 14 goals, has four points (two goals, two assists) in six career encounters with the Golden Knights.
3. Vegas RW Mark Stone has scored just three of his 11 goals on the road this season.
PREDICTION: Golden Knights 3, Blues 2