NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 4th
(All times eastern)
St. Louis Blues (12-9-3) at Edmonton Oilers (9-12-4), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The sliding St. Louis Blues will depart the Gateway City
for a pair of games, starting with tonight's tilt against the Edmonton Oilers
from Rexall Place.
St. Louis has lost four straight and nine of its last 12 games, including
Wednesday's 4-1 setback at home versus the Washington Capitals. Alexander
Steen scored the lone goal for the Blues and Jaroslav Halak allowed three
goals on 25 shots in defeat.
B.J. Crombeen and Erik Johnson assisted on Steen's fifth goal of the season
for the Blues, who had won 12 in a row against the Eastern Conference dating
to last January. St. Louis is also struggling on the power play lately, going
0-for-16 with the extra skater over the last five games.
"We obviously didn't make the quantity or quality plays we needed to make,"
said St. Louis forward David Backes. "There are some positives we can take
from this game, but we didn't get the result we wanted. We just have to keep
playing our game and it will come around."
The Caps were 0-7-1 in St. Louis since their last victory on Oct. 26, 1996.
The Blues will also make a stop in Vancouver and are 4-7-2 as the guest.
Meanwhile, Edmonton will take a three-game winning streak into its six-game
homestand tonight versus the Blues and is coming off Thursday's 5-0 demolition
of the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
Veteran backstop Nikolai Khabibulin tallied his 43rd career shutout with 33
saves, while Taylor Hall recorded his first career two-goal game. Fellow
rookie Jordan Eberle had a goal and two assists and both Sam Gagner and Ryan
Jones scored for Edmonton, which got two assists from Ryan Whitney.
"It was a good night," Hall said. "Our line was really clicking out there. I
don't think I had too many shots, but I was lucky enough to put them in."
Khabibulin was back between the pipes after missing seven games because of a
groin injury. The Oilers will also welcome the Ducks, Lightning, Canucks,
Leafs and Blue Jackets to Alberta, where they are 3-6-1.
Tonight's showdown between the Blues and Oilers is the first of four meetings
this season. St. Louis took three of four matchups with Edmonton a season ago
and has won three straight after losing the previous eight meetings.
St. Louis has won two straight after losing its last three at Edmonton.
12/04 10:50:22 ET