Preview: Oilers at Blues
The St. Louis Blues sent a message in a battle for supremacy in the Central Division, easing to a 5-2 victory over a Colorado Avalanche club that had earned points in nine straight games. St. Louis will face another top contender in the Western Conference when it wraps up a four-game homestand against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
The Blues answered a three-game slide by ripping off three straight victories to improve to 8-1-1 against division rivals and 14-2-3 against Western opponents. “I think there’s a tendency for our group, when we play against those high-level teams, we seem to show up and play with more consistency,” center Ryan O’Reilly said. St. Louis showed that ability on Nov. 6 in Edmonton, rolling to a 5-2 victory over the Oilers, who halted a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) with a 2-1 win at Dallas on Monday night. “Our guys were really focused today, you could tell in the morning skate, real business-like approach ... mostly the leaders in the room said we’d get the job done,” coach Dave Tippett said after his team won for only the third time in 10 games (3-6-1).
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Sportnet (Edmonton), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE OILERS (19-13-4): Captain Connor McDavid collected a pair of assists Monday to boost his NHL-leading point total to 59 and also scored one goal and set up another in last month's loss versus St. Louis, giving him 11 points in 13 games versus the Blues. Leon Draisaitl, second to McDavid with 57 points after scoring a power-play goal against Dallas, has nine points in 12 games against the Blues after notching a pair of assists in the last meeting. Zack Kassian netted his 12th goal Monday and also tallied in the first matchup.
ABOUT THE BLUES (21-8-6): After scoring once over his previous nine games, David Perron registered a hat trick against the Avalanche to take over the team lead in goals (15) and points (33). "He's always in the right spot at the right time," St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "He's been capable at both ends of the ice more than I've ever seen him. He's shooting the puck better than he ever has." Jordan Binnington, who won his lone start versus Edmonton last season, is 11-3-3 with a 2.26 goals-against average at home.
1. Binnington became the sixth goalie in history to notch his 40th win prior to his 60th NHL game.
2. Edmonton has scored at least one power-play goal in eight straight games.
3. O'Reilly has points in three straight overall and 28 in 35 games against Edmonton.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Oilers 2