NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 14th
(All times eastern)
Minnesota Wild (24-20-3) at St. Louis Blues (19-19-7), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will get a chance to match their longest
winning streak of the season when they visit the St. Louis Blues for tonight's
battle at Scottrade Center.
The Wild have won four straight games and are coming off Wednesday's decisive
victory over Vancouver. Minnesota, which is 10th in the Western Conference
with 51 points, won five in a row from November 27-December 5 and the club has
posted a 16-8-0 record since the beginning of that season-high winning streak.
All of Minnesota's wins on its current hot stretch came on a four-game
homestand, but the Wild are kicking off a three-game road trip tonight. The
Wild have a poor 8-14-2 road mark this year and have lost two straight and
three of their last four away from St. Paul. Minnesota will also visit Phoenix
and Dallas during this swing.
The Wild disposed of the Canucks on Wednesday as Antti Miettinen scored twice
in the third period, lifting Minnesota to the 5-2 triumph at Xcel Energy
Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist, while Owen Nolan and Kyle Brodziak also
lit the lamp for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom stopped 29 shots in the win.
"This is probably our best rival in the league and so far this year they had
our number," said Minnesota center Eric Belanger. "We wanted to prove tonight
that we could play with those guys and we were able to find a way to come back
and win it here. That was a big win for us."
Meanwhile, the Blues come into tonight having won their last two games after
losing their previous seven outings. St. Louis can also match a season-high
winning streak with another victory tonight. The club also won three in a row
from December 20-23.
St. Louis ended its skid with a win last Saturday in Los Angeles and made it
two straight with Tuesday's home victory over Columbus. Alexander Steen scored
a pair of goals to lead the Blues to the 4-1 victory over the Blue Jackets.
Jay McClement had a goal and two assists for the Blues. B.J. Crombeen scored
the other goal for St. Louis and Chris Mason made 26 saves for the victors.
"I thought we did a good job of closing out. We made sure pucks got deep,"
Andy McDonald, who leads St. Louis with 14 goals this year, missed Tuesday's
game with a hip/abdomen injury and is questionable for tonight's contest.
The Blues have a dismal 7-14-3 record as the host this year and are playing
the middle portion of a three-game homestand tonight. St. Louis had lost five
straight on home ice prior to the win over the Jackets.
The Wild and Blues have split two meetings this year, with each club winning
on home ice. St. Louis has taken three of four overall in the series and the
Wild have dropped three in a row in the Gateway City.
01/14 10:53:16 ET