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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, November 15th (All times eastern)

St. Louis Blues (9-3-3) at Colorado Avalanche (8-7-1), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will try to avoid dropping a season- high fourth straight game this evening as they visit the Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center.

The Blues have yielded 16 goals in losing three straight for the second time this season after giving up just 18 over a 9-1-2 start. Their current slide comes on the heels of a seven-game win streak and the club lost the opener of a three-game road trip, 5-3, at Phoenix on Saturday.

Andy McDonald scored a goal and picked up a pair of assists in a season-high three-point effort for the Blues, while David Backes and Brad Boyes also scored. Netminder Ty Conklin yielded four goals on 26 shots though in defeat.

St. Louis yielded three power-play goals in the setback and had a string of 22 straight penalty kills halted.

"We're a team that thrives on team defense," said McDonald. "We can't allow a team to have as many quality chances as they did tonight."

St. Louis' blue line could get a boost tonight if Carlo Colaiacovo can return from a concussion that has sidelined him for the last seven games. The former first-round pick skated with the Blues on Sunday.

Defense was an issue for the Blues last year when facing the Avalanche. They lost all four meetings with the club in 2009-10, getting outscored 21-8.

Colorado, though, will likely be facing St. Louis netminder Jaroslav Halak for just the second time. The Blues' big offseason pickup stopped 46-of-48 shots faced in his only other career meeting with the Avalanche, a victory while with the Canadiens on Feb. 13, 2009.

Chris Stewart leads the Avs with 10 goals and 18 points, and has seven goals and 12 points in his last four games versus the Blues. Paul Stastny has six goals and 14 points in his last seven versus the club.

Neither forward scored in Saturday's 3-1 loss in Detroit, though Stastny assisted on defenseman John-Michael Liles' third-period power-play goal. Peter Budaj, making his eighth straight start, allowed three goals on 25 shots faced.

"They usually start pretty quick and they had us back on our heels," Liles said. "There's no excuse ... We have to find a way to play a full 60 minutes."

The Avs did get defenseman Adam Foote back into the lineup over the weekend after their captain missed the previous eight games with a concussion.

Colorado has alternated wins and losses over its last six games and will try to avoid consecutive setbacks tonight for the first time since a three-game skid from Oct. 21-26.

With Craig Anderson still out with a knee injury, Budaj could get the start again tonight and is 7-5-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average in his career versus the Blues.

Colorado begins a three-game homestand tonight but is just 3-4-0 as the host this year. St. Louis is 3-3-2 on the road.

11/15 10:47:26 ET


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