Preview: Blues at Oilers
The St. Louis Blues' recent struggles away from the Gateway City have prevented the reigning Stanley Cup champions from widening their gap atop the Western Conference. Fresh off snapping a five-game road losing skid (0-4-1), the Blues bid to continue their ascent on Friday when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.
David Perron continued his torrid stretch by collecting a goal and an assist in regulation before scoring in the shootout of St. Louis' 5-4 victory over Calgary on Tuesday. The 31-year-old boosted his team-leading totals in goals (22) and points (52) with 10 and 22, respectively, over his last 17 games. While Perron has contributed two assists to help the Blues win the first two encounters with Edmonton, the Oilers have kept pace in the top-heavy Pacific Division by recording at least a point for the eighth time in their last nine games (6-1-2) with a 4-3 shootout loss to rival Calgary on Wednesday. "We got a point, there's going to be some highs and lows, and we have to stay even-keeled throughout these 33 games here," said Edmonton forward Zack Kassian, who signed a four-year, $12 million contract extension on that day.
TIME: 9 p.m. ET. TV: FS Midwest, Sportsnet West
ABOUT THE BLUES (31-12-8): Reigning Selke and Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Ryan O'Reilly continues to set up offense for his teammates, as he notched his club-best 35th assist against the Flames on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has recorded nine assists this month and set up a goal in each encounter with Edmonton this season. Captain Alex Pietrangelo ranks third on the team in assists with 29, with six coming in his last six contests overall, and notched two among his three points against Edmonton this season.
ABOUT THE OILERS (26-18-6): Leon Draisaitl extended his point streak to nine games (five goals, 11 assists) by setting up a pair of goals on Wednesday, marking his NHL-best 23rd multi-point performance of the season. The 24-year-old German, who has recorded three assists against the Blues this season, has now pulled even with captain Connor McDavid for the NHL lead in points with 77. Speaking of McDavid, he increased his point streak to seven games (five goals, eight assists) after setting up Alex Chiasson's goal on Wednesday and has two points (one goal, one assist) versus St. Louis this season.
1. Edmonton C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has collected four goals and five assists in his last six games.
2. St. Louis' Alexander Steen returned to practice on Thursday after exiting with a lower-body injury in the third period in the team's last contest.
3. Kassian resides one point shy of his career high, set with Vancouver in 2013-14.
PREDICTION: Oilers 4, Blues 3