Preview: Blues at Coyotes
The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues put their eight-game winning streak on the line when they start a three-game road trip Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes. St. Louis, which leads the Central Division by eight points, has outscored its foes 33-16 during the run after a completing a home-and-home sweep of Winnipeg 4-1 on Sunday, invoking memories of their dash to the title.
“Yeah, similar,” St. Louis left wing Jaden Schwartz told reporters. “That's what we're kind of building toward and keeping that same intensity, sticking to our systems, and it's been good. We've got a tough road trip coming up that will really test us.” The Blues are the only team that hasn't lost in regulation when scoring first (18-0-4), which it has done six times during the winning streak. “The thing is with us - we defend well, and when we do have the lead, teams are trying to play catch-up, it’s always hard,” captain Alex Pietrangelo told reporters. “We went through that last year - you’re always pushing hard, trying to catch-up." Arizona has lost three straight after a 4-2 setback to Dallas on Sunday and fell into third place in the Pacific Division, where four points separate the top five teams.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), FS Arizona
ABOUT THE BLUES (26-8-6): David Perron (team-high 40 points) has recorded four goals and six assists during a six-game point streak. Pietrangelo on Sunday recorded his 326th career assist, moving past Hall of Famer Al MacInnis for the most by a defensemen in club history, and has three goals and seven points in his last four contests. Jordan Binnington (19-6-4, 2.39 goals-against average, .921 save percentage) has won six straight games.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (21-16-4): Conor Garland scored his team-high 13th goal of the season Sunday and also recorded an assist for his fifth multi-point game of the season. Taylor Hall on Sunday scored his first home goal in an Arizona sweater, and has two goals and two assists in six games since being acquired from New Jersey. Derek Stepan is in the concussion protocol after taking a high hit from Dallas' Jamie Oleksiak.
1. The Coyotes defeated St. Louis 3-2 on Nov. 12 on shootout goals from Nick Schmaltz (team-high 31 points) and Garland, and has won five of the last six meetings.
2. The Blues boast the fifth-best power play in the league and have scored with the man advantage in four straight games (5-for-8).
3. Arizona has lost five of its last six at home and is 8-10-1 at Gila River Arena this season.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Coyotes 2