NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Tuesday, December 12th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (11-12-5) at St. Louis Blues (7-17-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will begin the Andy Murray era this
evening, as they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to the Scottrade Center.
The Blues, who are in the midst of a season-long seven-game losing streak,
decided to fire head coach Mike Kitchen on Monday and replace him with Murray.
Murray, who previously guided Los Angeles from 1999-2006, ranks first in Kings
history in both wins (215) and games coached (480). He was also the second-
fastest to reach the 100-win plateau as Kings head coach.
Kitchen, who was named head coach in February, 2004, was only able to lead the
Blues to a 7-17-4 record this season, worst in the Western Conference.
St. Louis' most recent setback came Saturday evening against the visiting
Columbus Blue Jackets. Sergei Fedorov had two goals and an assist to help the
Blue Jackets earn the 5-1 win in the Gateway City.
Bill Guerin scored the lone goal and Jason Bacashihua made 19 saves for the
Blues, who haven't won since a 3-2 shootout victory over Detroit on November
St. Louis' current skid is still well behind the franchise record 13-game
losing streak set from March 16-April 8 of last season.
The Blues will once again be without forward Dallas Drake for tonight's game.
Drake will serve the final test of a two-game suspension for delivering a hit
to the head of Detroit defenseman Brett Lebda in last Thursday's game.
Chicago, meanwhile, is coming off Sunday's victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski each had a goal and an assist each, as the
Blackhawks downed the Oilers, 4-1, at United Center.
Tuomo Ruutu also scored and Nikolai Khabibulin made 18 saves for the
Blackhawks, who ended a three-game losing streak.
Chicago may have the newly-acquired Peter Bondra in the lineup tonight.
Bondra, who has 498 goals in his NHL career, had not played in the league this
year, but the Blackhawks signed him to a contract on Sunday.
The 38-year-old Bondra had 21 goals and 18 assists in 60 games with the
Atlanta Thrashers last season.
Tonight marks the fifth meeting of the year between the Blackhawks and Blues.
The clubs have split the four tests so far, but Chicago has won four of six
and seven of the 11 encounters.
12/12 10:20:19 ET