Preview: Islanders at Blues
The St. Louis Blues have won five in a row overall and three straight at Enterprise Center to improve their Western Conference-best home record to 21-6-5. The Blues bid to continue their good fortune on Thursday when they host the New York Islanders, who are 2-8-1 on the road versus the rest of the West this season.
Zach Sanford boosted his goal total to 11 in 15 games since the All-Star break after scoring twice during St. Louis' four-goal third period in Thursday's 6-5 victory over Chicago. "Not every game is going to be 2-1 or 1-0 even though we'd like it to be. You have to win games like this. We can win any kind of game," the 25-year-old said. New York answered being outscored by an 11-2 margin during a fruitless four-game road trip by winning two straight before staging a late rally in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime setback to the rival Rangers. "(The resiliency) tells me a lot about my team and the group," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "Even when were down 3-1, all the leaders, all the key guys were saying, 'We're coming back in this.'"
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: MSG-Plus, FS Midwest
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (35-20-7): Jordan Eberle (four goals, two assists) and Brock Nelson (two goals, three assists) each scored late in the third period on Tuesday to join Mathew Barzal (six assists) in extending their respective point streaks to four games. The spirited surge was reminiscent of New York's rally in its first encounter with St. Louis on Oct. 14, when Nelson and Barzal knotted the contest by scoring a goal late in the third period. Defenseman Devon Toews netted the winner at 1:13 of overtime for the Islanders, who have won four in a row against the Blues.
ABOUT THE BLUES (37-17-10): Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs following his harrowing cardiac episode in a game against Anaheim on Feb. 11, general manager Doug Armstrong said Wednesday. "It's tough, but hockey hasn't really been at the front of my mind the last couple of weeks," the 36-year-old Bouwmeester said. "I feel pretty good, so you can compare it to another injury where you're just not playing. But you have to remind yourself why you're not playing. It puts it in perspective." Brayden Schenn collected a goal and an assist in the first encounter with the Islanders and has five of each in his last 14 games.
1. New York C Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored on Tuesday, one day after he was acquired in a trade with Ottawa for three draft picks.
2. St. Louis C Ryan O'Reilly has recorded 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his last dozen games.
3. Islanders captain Anders Lee (two goals, four assists) and LW Josh Bailey (one goal, two assists) carry three-game point streaks into Thursday's game.
PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Blues 2