Preview: Blues at Ducks
The St. Louis Blues capped a sterling 12-2-1 stretch with a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 13 before dropping seven of their last nine games (2-5-2). The Blues look to get back on track Tuesday when they visit the Ducks, who are returning home after a successful five-game road trip (3-0-2).
Defenseman Colton Parayko kept an optimistic approach in the face of adversity, as St. Louis has seen its once-substantial lead atop the Central Division whittled to three points over second-place Colorado. "We're just in the middle of a little bit of a grind right now. That's the way it goes. It's a long season," said the 26-year-old Parayko, who extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best three games after tallying twice in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas. "We have a group in here that knows how to respond and we know what to do. We're in a good spot still." Anaheim rebounded from its loss to the Blues to post a 6-2-2 record over the last 10 games to put itself within earshot of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Captain Ryan Getzlaf, who leads the team in assists (25) and points (37), ended a 12-game goal drought on Sunday afternoon as the Ducks tallied three times in the first period and held on for a 3-2 win over Buffalo.
TIME: 10 p.m. ET. TV: FS Midwest, FS West
ABOUT THE BLUES (32-15-9): Goaltender Jake Allen and the Blues will have extra motivation to perform well during their upcoming two-game road trip, as the trek will include 21 fathers (or guests) of the players. "They're a big reason that we're here in this position today, so we just play hard for them, have some fun, be a little bit more loose and relaxed. It's a big highlight of their year - I know my dad (Kurt) looks forward to it every year. It's a big deal for them." Brayden Schenn, whose father Jeff is traveling with the club, notched a pair of assists in last month's meeting with Anaheim.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (23-26-7): Fourth-liner Derek Grant is enjoying a career season in 2019-20, highlighted by his first NHL hat trick in Anaheim's 4-1 win over St. Louis on Nov. 16. The 29-year-old Grant has scored three goals in his last five games to boost his season total to 13, eclipsing his previous best of 12 in 2017-18. Getzlaf, who collected a goal and an assist in the first game against the Blues, has 39 points (10 goals, 29 assists) in 43 career encounters with St. Louis.
1. Anaheim G John Gibson sports a 10-8-1 record at home with a 2.62 goals-against average, as opposed to a 6-13-3 mark with a 3.27 GAA on the road.
2. Blues C Ryan O'Reilly has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last nine games, but he has yet to secure a point in the two meetings with the Ducks.
3. Anaheim C Adam Henrique has three points in his last two contests to match his total over his previous dozen games.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Ducks 2