Preview: Blues at Ducks
The St. Louis Blues have cooled off with losses in two of three after enjoying an eight-game winning streak and look to start moving forward again when they visit the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. The Blues lost at New Jersey on Friday before blanking Chicago 2-0 and could not get the job done Monday in a 2-1 loss at home against Florida to remain two points up on second-place Colorado in the Central Division.
“Back-to-back games, I didn’t think we had a ton of jump,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube told reporters after Monday’s setback. “I thought our first period was pretty good, second period was just OK, and the third period was kind of an even period for me. … We just didn’t execute on some plays offensively. It’s tough to win only scoring one goal.” The teams have split a pair of games this season and the matchup Wednesday is a makeup for the game on Feb. 11 when Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench in the first period due to a cardiac episode that has ended the 17-year-veteran’s season. The Ducks are out of playoff contention, but have been mighty pesky of late with points in seven of their last nine games (5-2-2) after knocking off Ottawa 5-2 on Tuesday as Nicolas Deslauriers recorded his first career hat trick. The teams have split a pair of games this season, with the road squad each registering a 4-1 victory.
TIME: 10 p.m. ET. TV: FS Midwest, Prime Ticket
ABOUT THE BLUES (41-19-10): Defenseman Colton Parayko scored the only goal Monday to push his season total to 10, which matches his career best that he accomplished in 2018-19. Leading scorer David Perron (60 points) has been kept off the scoresheet in four straight games with center Ryan O’Reilly (59) blanked in his last three, while fellow forward Brayden Schenn saw his point streak end at seven contests Monday. Jordan Binnington (30-13-7, .912 save percentage) has allowed eight goals in his past four games and Jake Allen (11-6-3, .925) is a winner in three straight starts.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (29-32-9): Rickard Rakell recorded two goals and five assists with a plus-4 rating over the last four games to boost his season total to 42 points - tying captain Ryan Getzlaf for the team lead. Right wing Jakob Silfverberg scored his 21st goal Tuesday, second on the team behind center Adam Henrique (25), and has five of his 38 points in the past four contests. Veteran Ryan Miller has stopped 65 of the 72 shots he faced the last two games with No. 1 goalie John Gibson out due to a groin injury and backup Anthony Stolarz could get his first start with Anaheim in the second of a back-to-back if Gibson is not ready.
1. Anaheim F Carter Rowney has recorded two goals and three assists in his last five games to push his total to 19 points.
2. St. Louis reportedly placed veteran F Troy Brouwer (one goal, 13 games) on waivers Tuesday.
3. The Blues are third in the league on the power play (24.0 percent) and the Ducks moved up to 24th on the penalty kill after going 5-for-5 on Tuesday.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Ducks 1