NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 14th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Blues (34-14-7) at Columbus Blue Jackets (16-34-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will try to extend their winning streak
to a season-high five games when they visit the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets
tonight at Nationwide Arena.
St. Louis is in the midst of its fifth four-game win streak of the 2011-12
campaign, but the club last won five in a row from Dec. 21-31 of last season.
Ken Hitchcock's team has a 13-2-2 record in its last 17 games and has built a
five-point edge over Nashville for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
The Blues are also just three points in back of Detroit for first place in the
Central Division, Western Conference and NHL. St. Louis enters today with two
games in hand to use over the Red Wings.
Meanwhile, Columbus has been going through a nightmare of a season and is last
in the NHL with 38 points -- 11 less than its closest competition in the
The Blues are 2-0 against Columbus this season, winning one at home and one on
the road while recording eight goals over the two meetings. St. Louis has
taken five straight in the series overall and three in a row at Nationwide
St. Louis last played on Sunday, when it rode goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a
3-0 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks. Halak made 25 saves to record
his sixth shutout of the season and 22nd of his career. Five of the Czech
goaltender's shutouts this year have come over his last 10 starts.
Alex Pietrangelo finished with two goals and an assist and David Perron also
scored for the Blues, who extended their franchise-record home points streak
to 19 games (16-0-3). Perron has six goals and an assist over his last four
games and was named the NHL's Third Star last week.
St. Louis has won its last two road games, but is still just 10-11-3 as the
guest this year compared to a stellar 24-3-4 mark at home.
On the injury front, the Blues have played the last five games without Jason
Arnott (shoulder) and fellow forward Matt D'Agostini has sat out three in a
row with a head injury. Neither player is expected to be available tonight.
The Blue Jackets had won three of four before getting dealt a 5-3 loss by
Anaheim on Sunday in the opener of a three-game homestand. Corey Perry
recorded his second hat trick of the season to lead the Ducks past Columbus,
which fell to 9-15-3 as the host this year.
Fedor Tyutin had a goal and an assist in the loss, while Aaron Johnson and
Antoine Vermette scored also for the Blue Jackets. Steve Mason stopped 30-
of-35 shots in defeat.
"They executed extremely well, we made some mistakes and ended up paying for
them," said Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards.
Columbus captain Rick Nash enters tonight on a five-game point streak. He has
one goal and five helpers during the run.
02/14 10:34:20 ET