NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 8th
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (1-0-0) at St. Louis Blues (2-0-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Coming off an extremely successful European trip, the St.
Louis Blues will start up their 2009-10 home schedule when the Atlanta
Thrashers invade the Scottrade Center this evening for a clash between current
St. Louis began its season with a pair of matchups with the rival Detroit Red
Wings that took place in Stockholm, Sweden. The up-and-coming Blues got the
better of the defending Western Conference champions in both games, and came
from behind in both contests to prevail.
The Blues netted three unanswered goals in the second period to rally for a
4-3 victory in Friday's opener, then overcame an early two-goal deficit to
post a 5-3 triumph over the Red Wings on Saturday.
Brad Boyes and Patrik Berglund scored 13 seconds apart in the second period to
put St. Louis ahead by a 4-3 count in the finale, with Keith Tkachuk's power-
play tally with 8:12 left in regulation providing some insurance. Tkachuk
finished with two goals and an assist in the game to help St. Louis to its
first 2-0-0 start since the lockout-shortened 1995 campaign.
Former Red Wing Ty Conklin did his part as well, with the veteran goaltender
stopping 30-of-33 shots. Eleven of Conklin's saves came during the third
The Blues, who will also host Los Angeles on Saturday before embarking on a
three-game road trip, posted a 23-13-5 record at the Scottrade Center last
Atlanta also got itself off to a good start, as the club put forth a strong
effort on both ends of the ice to deliver a 6-3 win over fellow Southeast
Division member Tampa Bay this past Saturday in the Thrashers' only game thus
far in 2009-10.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Rich Peverly each had two goals and one assist to lead
Atlanta's offensive outburst, while young goaltender Ondrej Pavelec racked up
36 saves between the pipes for the Thrashers, who were outshot by a 39-28
margin on the night.
"We feel very good about ourselves, but it's just the start, and we're going
to improve our game," said Kovalchuk afterward.
The 22-year-old Pavelec has an opportunity to stake a claim to the Thrashers'
No. 1 netminder's job, with regular starter Kari Lehtonen still recovering
from back surgery performed during the offseason.
Tonight's tilt is the first of five consecutive road games for Atlanta, which
recorded the third-lowest point total (66) in the NHL last season. The
Thrashers were 17-20-4 as the visitor in 2008-09.
Atlanta will be making its first trip to St. Louis since coming away with a
3-2 overtime decision at the Scottrade Center on December 23, 2007. The Blues
earned a 4-2 road win in the lone meeting between the teams last season and
are 6-3 with one tie in 10 lifetime matchups with the Thrashers.
10/08 11:01:29 ET