Preview: Blues at Blackhawks
Having a long winning streak end against a last-place club could come back to haunt the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, but a similar defeat by the Chicago Blackhawks could have far more damaging consequences. The Blues will wrap up a three-game road trip and aim to complete a season series sweep when they visit Chicago on Sunday night.
St. Louis had won eight in a row overall and 12 straight against New Jersey, but both streaks came to an end in a surprising 4-2 setback to the Devils on Friday night. "We've just got to move on from this game and focus on Chicago," Blues coach Craig Berube told reporters. "That's it. It's over with. I'm not going to sit here and harp on this game." While St. Louis maintained its two-point lead over Colorado atop the Central Division, the Blackhawks absorbed a jolting 2-1 defeat at NHL-worst Detroit on Friday to deny their bid for a season high-tying fifth consecutive victory. "Tough not to get the result after the effort we had yesterday, but we've just got move on," coach Jeremy Colliton said after his team dropped six points out of the second wild card in the Western Conference.
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE BLUES (40-18-10): Jaden Schwartz is on a hot streak after scoring in back-to-back games to give him three goals and nine points over his last seven contests, including a pair of assists in a 6-5 victory over Chicago on Feb. 25. Defenseman Justin Faulk, who scored in last month's victory against the Blackhawks, missed his first game of the season Friday due to an upper-body injury sustained in Thursday's practice and was due to be re-evaluated Saturday. St. Louis is 3-for-9 on the power play in the three meetings this season.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (31-29-8): Chicago has surrendered 14 goals in three matchups versus St. Louis and could be thin along the blue line after rookie defensemen Lucas Carlsson (concussion) and Adam Boqvist (wrist) were sidelined for Friday's loss. Boqvist was a late scratch after getting hurt the previous night versus Edmonton and another possible injury cropped up when blue-liner Connor Murphy had to leave the ice in the waning seconds Friday night. Corey Crawford has surrendered all 14 goals in losing the three starts versus the Blues.
1. Blackhawks F Patrick Kane has scored in three straight games overall and in each of the past two meetings versus St. Louis.
2. Blues F Brayden Schenn has five goals and three assists during a six-game point streak.
3. Chicago is 0-for-10 on the power play in the last four contests overall, but was 3-for-4 versus St. Louis last month.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Blackhawks 2