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POSTED ON Friday, 11.28.2014 / 3:54 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - With Brian Elliott sidelined for a few weeks with a lower-body injury, Blues goalie Jake Allen will be between the pipes tonight (and for the foreseeable future) when the Blues host the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center (FSMW, KMOX).

“It’s an unfortunate injury to Ells, a guy that’s been playing great all year,” Allen said after the morning skate. “He’s a big part of our team, but I’m looking forward to doing my best, treating it like another game, and hopefully he gets back soon.”

Jordan Binnington, who has a 1.89 goals-against average and a .925 save-percentage in nine games with the Chicago Wolves, will serve as the backup.

But due to Binnington’s lack of professional experience, the Blues invited Martin Brodeur to join the team for practice. Depending on the severity of Elliott’s injury and how Brodeur looks, the Blues could sign the future Hall-of-Famer to backup Allen before next week’s road trip to Chicago, Nashville and Long Island.

No matter what happens though, Allen is enjoying having Brodeur around.

“He was one of my favorite goalies growing up, so it’s pretty cool to have him around,” Allen said. “Hopefully I get to know him a little bit better the longer he’s here. He’s a guy with so much experience…you can’t have enough of that on the team.”

“I know Brian Elliott and Jake Allen have been doing a great job. I’m not here to disturb anything with what’s going on here,” Brodeur said. “There’s a need for somebody to help Jake right now with Brian being out. I’m just glad they’re giving me a good look here.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 11.25.2014 / 12:24 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - Just three days removed from facing the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre, the teams will meet again tonight, this time in St. Louis (7 p.m., FSMW, KMOX).

In the first meeting, the Blues earned a tough 3-2 win thanks to Alexander Steen’s game-winning goal in the second period. Brian Elliott made 24 saves against his former team, and Alex Pietrangelo had two assists.

Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson expects to see a similar game tonight.

“Like we saw in Ottawa, (they’re) a tough forechecking, skating team with a lot of skill, especially on their power play,” Gunnarsson said. “Since we played them a couple of days ago, we kind of know their lineup and how they play a little bit more. We tried to bring it. And so did they. A lot of hits, a lot of battles.

“Essentially that’s where you’re going to lose the game, in the one-on-one battles, so that’s where we’ve got to be strong tonight.”

The Blues are looking for their third consecutive win after dropping the first two games of their road trip last week.

“I think the thing you have to be ready for is the tempo,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “The tempo of the game is very fast. They play very fast, they’re fast with the puck, fast without the puck, they put a lot of pressure on you and you have to be ready for it.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.24.2014 / 2:21 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

Alexander Steen is heating up.

The Blues forward has points in back-to-back games entering Thanksgiving week. He scored his fourth goal of the season Saturday against the Senators, then followed that up with a two-assist performance in Winnipeg.

Steen now leads all Blues forwards with eight power-play points this year (one goal, seven assists).

“I think the biggest difference is Steen,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the Blues' second consecutive win on Sunday in Winnipeg. “Steen and Backes are competing at a whole ‘nother level now.”

Steen has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 21 games this season.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Jaden Schwartz has points in three consecutive games. He scored his eighth goal of the season Sunday against the Jets. His 21 points this season are second on the Blues and are tied for 13th overall in the NHL.

Jori Lehtera has assists in three consecutive games. He’s recorded 13 assists this year. He ranks third on the Blues in points with seven goals and 13 assists (20 points).

SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Nov. 25 vs. Ottawa Senators
Nov. 28 vs. Edmonton Oilers
Nov. 29 at Minnesota Wild

DraftKings offers free or paid fantasy hockey options and gives players the opportunity to win real money! Participate in daily hockey leagues with no season-long commitment! To date, over $20 million has been paid out to thousands of fantasy sports winners! Go to draftkings.com to sign up today!

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POSTED ON Sunday, 11.23.2014 / 11:07 AM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

WINNIPEG - Barret Jackman will appear in his 744th career game with the Blues when the club meets the Winnipeg Jets today at MTS Centre (3:30 p.m., FSMW, KMOX).

With 744 games, Jackman will tie Brett Hull for third on the Blues’ all-time games played list.

Originally drafted by the Blues in the first-round (17th overall) in 1999, Jackman has played his entire career with the Blues. He now trails only Bernie Federko (927 games) and Brian Sutter (779) in games played.

Jackman’s milestone comes at the end of a four-game road trip, where the Blues have a chance to finish it with a 2-2 record if they can beat the Jets today. The Blues are 3-0-2 in their last five games at MTS Centre.

Meanwhile, the Jets are wrapping up a three-game home stand with today’s contest. They’re coming off a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night but are 10-8-3 on the season, which is good for fourth in the Central Division.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 10:41 AM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

OTTAWA - Looking for an offensive spark, the Blues are primarily focused right now on getting back to a solid defensive game.

The belief is that if you start there, the offense will come.

“The last couple games, we’ve given up a few too many odd-man rushes and maybe forced the offense a little bit too much,” said defenseman Barret Jackman. “We know that our team is defense-first. We create a lot of chances off of our checking.”

The Blues, typically a very strong defensive team, have lost two consecutive games after winning 10 of the previous 11. They’ve scored only one goal in the first two games of this four-game road trip.

“To me, unless we clean up our own end, it doesn't matter how many goals we score," Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after Thursday’s 4-1 loss in Montreal. "We made some mistakes on our half of the red line.”

Cleaning up those mistakes starts this afternoon at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, where the Blues will meet the Senators at 2 p.m. CT (FSMW, KMOX).

The Senators are coming off of a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, a game in which Ottawa scored three times in the second period. Overall, the Senators are 9-5-4 and have just one regulation loss at home (5-1-3).

A key to beating the Senators would be keeping defenseman Erik Karlsson in check. The 24-year-old Swede is one of Ottawa’s biggest offensive weapons and has 13 points in 18 games this season.

“(He’s) one of the best offensive defensemen in the league,” Jackman said. “We make him play defense, turn to get the puck and we kind of neutralize his ability to affect the game.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 12:58 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

MONTREAL - When Blues goalie Jake Allen makes his first-ever start tonight at Bell Centre in Montreal, a very special fan will be in the stands to cheer him on.

Grandma Judy will make the eight-hour trip from his hometown of Fredericton, New Brunswick to see her grandson play.

“I told her it’s a tough building to come into for her first game, the loudest in the NHL, so it will be an eye opener,” Allen said. “I’m glad to have (her) here and it’s going to be special.”

Grandma Judy will also be joined by Allen’s parents, Kurt and Susie, who are making the trip with about 15 or so family and friends. Tonight will also be the first time Kurt and Susie see their son start an NHL game in person.

“My old man was a Habs fan,” Allen said. “I was in these seats probably ten times during those two years (in juniors), and watching a lot of games on TV, being around the city, knowing the passion and vibe that the city has for the Canadiens…it’s going to be an exciting challenge for me to be able to face them.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s something I’ve been dreaming of.”

Allen spent two seasons with the Montreal Juniors in the QMJHL, where he recorded 39 wins. He enters tonight’s game having won four in a row and ranks first in the NHL in goals-against average on the road (0.50) and save-percentage (.980).

“I like the way he’s played in the net. He’s had some tough starts, some difficult road games,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “He’s played against some top performing teams and had success. He’s really added and helped us win a lot of hockey games so far.”

“I’m definitely going to take it in when I’m standing there at the start of the game,” Allen said. “But when the puck drops, it’s all business.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 1:30 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

BOSTON - The Blues begin a four-game road trip tonight in Boston, where they face off against the Bruins at 6 p.m. CT (FSMW, KMOX 1120).

Entering tonight’s game, the Blues are 4-1-1 on the road this season, with the only regulation loss coming Oct. 19 against the Ducks. The road trip will go through Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg after tonight.

But starting with Boston, the Blues face a Bruins squad that has won five consecutive games at home despite key injures to David Krecji and Zdeno Chara. Brad Marchand, who skated briefly today, will also be out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury.

The Blues have won six straight games in Boston dating back to January 2002, with each of the Blues’ last three wins coming in a shootout.

“We’re playing a mirror image of ourselves. They have all the qualities that we have, and they’ve had them for years,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the morning skate. “Just know that you’re not going to get any ice easy. You’re going to have earn every inch of your ice, and if you’re prepared to do that and have the right attitude, good things can happen.

“But if you’re looking for space, you’re playing in the wrong building.”

The Blues have won five consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents this season, while the Bruins are 0-2-0 against opponents from the Central Division.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.17.2014 / 10:43 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

BOSTON - With TD Garden in Boston being the first stop on a four-game road trip, we thought it would be nice to reflect on one of the most memorable come-from-behind wins in Blues history.

It happened at TD Garden on Jan. 19, 2009. The Blues had a 2-1 lead in the third period against the Bruins, who led the Eastern Conference with a 33-8-4 record at the time.

Everything appeared to be falling apart though with about six minutes to go. With Blues forward Dan Hinote in the penalty box for elbowing, Boston’s Michael Ryder tied the game with 4:44 to go. Just 19 seconds later, P.J. Axlesson beat Blues goalie Chris Mason to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.

And just 1:20 after that, Zdeno Chara gave the Bruins some added insurance with an even-strength goal with 3:05 to play.

The Bruins, once trailing, scored three goals in a span of 1:39 to take a 4-2 lead in the third period.

The Blues were down. But they were not out.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.17.2014 / 11:08 AM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

Three weeks into our DraftKings Fantasy Reports, we’ve featured a member of the Blues’ “STL Line” as our main fantasy focus every time.

This week will be no different.

Today, it’s Jaden Schwartz, who is currently on a six-game point streak with 10 points (two goals, eight assists). Schwartz scored a goal and an assist Saturday against Washington (and was oh so close to scoring another goal). It was his fifth multi-point game of the season and first game-winning goal since Dec. 31.

When you’re drafting for your daily fantasy team at DraftKings, consider Schwartz (or Vladimir Tarasenko, or Jori Lehtera). You can’t go wrong.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Jori Lehtera has points in seven consecutive games (five goals, six assists). His 11 points in November trail only Tarasenko and Nashville’ Filip Forsberg for the most League-wide. In addition, Lehtera was named the NHL’s No. 1 Star of the Week on Monday after scoring four goals and two assists in three games last week.

Brian Elliott was won six of his last seven games overall. He ranks third in the NHL with a 1.87 goals-against average and fifth with a .930 save percentage this season.

SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Nov. 18 at Boston Bruins
Nov. 20 at Montreal Canadiens
Nov. 22 at Ottawa Senators
Nov. 23 at Winnipeg Jets

DraftKings offers free or paid fantasy hockey options and gives players the opportunity to win real money! Participate in daily hockey leagues with no season-long commitment! To date, over $20 million has been paid out to thousands of fantasy sports winners! Go to draftkings.com to sign up today!

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POSTED ON Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 1:12 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Ovechkin.

Both offensively-gifted Russian players, one is already established and the other is still making a name for himself.

Tonight they go head-to-head for the first time this season when the Blues and Washington Capitals face off at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center (FSMW, KMOX).

“(Tarasenko) is a great player. He’s a heck of a player. He’s a difference maker,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said recently. “There’s probably as many players in the League that have as many goals as him, but not as many important goals. Those goals either win us hockey games, bring us back in hockey games, things like that. His sense of timing for me is the most important part for the team. He’s done a great job.”

“I think Vladi admires a lot of guys that have come out of Russia. Ovechkin’s one of those guys that he’s looked up to,” defenseman Barret Jackman added. “I think Vladi’s going to have some fun. He’s really going to take it to the next level.”

In fact, he already has. Through 16 games this season, Tarasenko has 10 goals and 11 assists (21 points).

The Capitals are beginning a three-game road trip tonight. Last night, they fell 1-0 to the New Jersey Devils at home, but previously had won three straight.

“Ovechkin is very dangerous and Backstrom is up there with the best players in the League,” Jackman said. “When you have a team like this that has so many weapons, it’s fun to rise to the challenge.”

Longtime Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz is behind the bench now for Washington. Hitchcock said he sees some of the same defensive strategies he’s come to expect from Nashville, but offensively, the Capitals still pose a big threat.

“Their skill in the middle of the ice is obviously evident offensively. I don’t think anything’s changed there,” Hitchcock said. “It’s still a team that if you expect to beat them, you’re going to have to keep the game 5-on-5 as many minutes as you can. You don’t want to allow their best players to get an extra skater out there.”

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 VAN 23 16 6 1 72 61 33
2 ANA 24 14 5 5 64 60 33
3 NSH 22 15 5 2 62 45 32
4 STL 23 15 6 2 63 49 32
5 CGY 24 14 8 2 75 64 30
6 CHI 23 14 8 1 70 47 29
7 LAK 23 12 6 5 64 53 29
8 WPG 25 12 9 4 52 56 28
9 MIN 22 13 9 0 63 52 26
10 SJS 24 10 10 4 62 66 24
11 DAL 23 9 9 5 68 79 23
12 ARI 23 9 11 3 57 71 21
13 COL 23 8 10 5 59 73 21
14 EDM 24 6 14 4 54 82 16

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 23 13 12 16 25
J. Schwartz 23 8 13 8 21
J. Lehtera 22 7 14 13 21
K. Shattenkirk 23 2 16 9 18
A. Steen 23 5 10 0 15
A. Pietrangelo 23 2 11 -4 13
D. Backes 22 6 4 -3 10
P. Stastny 15 3 4 -5 7
T. Oshie 16 2 4 2 6
M. Lapierre 23 1 4 0 5
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 8 4 1 .931 1.82
J. Allen 7 2 1 .913 2.20

 
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