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National Hockey League

Blues host Sharks in battle between unbeaten teams

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues have made sure they did not let their season-opening homestand go to waste.

The Blues try to extend the best start in franchise history on Tuesday night when they host the San Jose Sharks in a battle of unbeaten clubs.

St. Louis wraps a five-game homestand tonight having posted its first ever 4-0-0 start to a season. It has outscored its opponents 19-7 on the season and is coming off Saturday's 5-3 win over the New York Rangers.

David Backes had a pair of goals and an assist, while Alex Steen had a goal and three helpers. Steen has scored in four straight games with eight points on the season, the first Blues skater to log eight points in the first four games of the season since Paul Kariya in 2008-09.

Derek Roy added a goal and an assist, Vladimir Tarasenko scored in his third contest in a row for the first time and Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves.

"We're getting bounces right now," Steen said. "We've been working hard trying to do simple things, read off each other and right now, it's been a lot of inspiration."

St. Louis has won 10 straight regular-season games at home dating back to last season and will play road games on back-to-back nights beginning Thursday in Chicago.

The Blues will try to remain unbeaten ahead of their second game this season against the defending champs, but face a Sharks club tonight that is off to its second straight fast start.

San Jose began the lockout-shortened campaign with a club-record 7-0 start and has won all five of its games so far this season. The Sharks outscored their first four opponents 21-5 before edging the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday.

Brent Burns had the game-winner 7:08 into the third period with time winding down on a power-play chance. Joe Thornton carried the puck around the Ottawa net before sliding a pass to Burns, who buried a one-timer into the net.

"It was just a great play by (Thornton)," Burns said. "I didn't have to do much, but I wasn't going to miss."

Rookie Tomas Hertl scored his seventh goal of the season, but did not return to the game after colliding with Ottawa's Clark MacArthur in the second period.

"He fell into a player," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Basically he was going to the net, stumbled and fell into him. He's a little bit sore, but I think he'll be fine (Sunday)."

Patrick Marleau scored and Antti Niemi stopped 21-of-23 shots for the Sharks. Marleau has four goals and five points over a five-game point streak, while Logan Couture has logged seven points over a five-game run of his own.

San Jose's 24 goals are the most in franchise history through the first five games of the season, besting last season's 23 goals.

The Blues have won six of their past seven versus the Sharks overall, including two of three meetings last season. San Jose has scored more than two goals just once in that span.

St. Louis has won three of its last four at home in this series.

Halak is 4-2-0 with a pair of shutouts and a 2.30 goals against average in seven meetings with the Sharks.

Niemi is 5-6-0 with a 2.57 GAA in 12 lifetime encounters with the Blues.

10/15 11:19:17 ET

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