Preview: Sharks at Blues
The St. Louis Blues have answered a season-high eight-game win streak by losing each contest on their just-concluded three-game road trip. The Blues bid to snap that 0-2-1 skid and continue their good fortune in the Gateway City on Tuesday when they open a five-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks.
St. Louis' latest setback came after it squandered a three-goal lead in a 5-4 overtime loss versus Vegas on Saturday, with team defense being front and center as one of coach Craig Berube's chief concerns after the game. The Blues have allowed 15 goals in their last three contests after allowing just 16 in their previous eight. San Jose knows a thing or two about being generous on the defensive end, as it surrendered two goals in 32 seconds in the final minute of regulation in an eventual 5-4 overtime loss to Washington on Sunday afternoon. "It sure feels like we lost every single way you can possibly lose a game in sport this year," captain Logan Couture said. "Blowouts, close games like this. Now that we've got this one done. hopefully we never have to do this again. You've got to take positives from this."
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBCS California, FS Midwest
ABOUT THE SHARKS (19-21-4): Evander Kane's third career hat trick on Sunday boosted his goal total to four over the last two games after being held off the scoresheet in eight of his previous 10, including a 5-2 setback to St. Louis on Dec. 21. Kane collected two of his three tallies on the power play, a significant boon considering San Jose's horrid 2-for-49 performance with the man advantage to close the 2019 calendar year. "That was probably the biggest positive of the night, was getting off the schneid on the power play and scoring a couple," the 28-year-old Kane said. "Carry that over to St. Louis, play through the 60 minutes instead of just through the 58 minute mark, and we like our chances to win the game."
ABOUT THE BLUES (26-10-7): Jaden Schwartz continued his torrid stretch by scoring a goal versus Vegas, boosting his point total to 13 (five goals, eight assists) in his last nine games. The 27-year-old collected a goal and two assists in the game versus San Jose while captain Alex Pietrangelo tallied twice in the third period of that contest. That outing was the first of five multi-point performances in a seven-game stretch for the 29-year-old Pietrangelo, who has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in that run.
1. San Jose D Brent Burns has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last nine games, including a goal and an assist in the first meeting with St. Louis.
2. Blues LW David Perron has boosted his team-leading totals in goals (17) and points (43) with five and 13, respectively, in his last nine contests.
3. The Sharks have killed off all eight short-handed opportunities over the last four games.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Sharks 1