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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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POSTED ON Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 1:12 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - It's early in the season, but first place in the Central Division is on the line tonight when the Blues and Nashville Predators meet again at Scottrade Center at 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX 1120 AM).

But Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said he’s not thinking about the standings right now. He’s just thinking about how his team will respond after losing 2-1 to Nashville in the first meeting on Saturday.

“I glance at the standings and in probably six weeks, I’m going to be staring at it every day, but right now, I glance at it,” Hitchcock said. “For me, the focus is its our turn to respond. They beat us fair and square, they played a great third period, it was an even game… we didn’t have the energy to create any offense and they had enough energy to defend against us.

“We’re the ones that have to make a few adjustments here and get ready to play a little bit better. If we do that, I like our chances.”

Both teams have played 15 games. The Predators currently sit in first place with 22 points, while the Blues are second with 21.

“They’re a good team. They work hard,” Blues forward Ryan Reaves said. “They’ve got some sneaky skill there and if you fall asleep for a couple minutes, they’re going to make you pay. We’ve got to play a full 60 and make sure we don’t fall asleep.

“We want to put some teams behind us in the division and not look back. I think this is a good start today.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 12:26 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

RELATED LINKS: WWII Veteran Delivers Elliott's Mask | View the Mask Up Close

ST. LOUIS - Brian Elliott starts in goal and will be donning a special Veterans Day-themed mask during tonight’s 7 p.m. game against the Buffalo Sabres at Scottrade Center (NBCSN, KMOX 1120 AM).

The mask, which was designed by Head Strong Grafx, features an American and Canadian soldier, the United States and Canadian flag and a “Thanks for your Service” message across the chin.

“When it’s something like Veterans Day, where we’ve had firsthand experience with the military, it really means something special to you,” Elliott said. “What they’re doing overseas and at home here, it’s hard and it’s a sacrifice. Designing a cool helmet and wearing it is the least we can do.”

Elliott’s wife, Amanda, served four years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force.

The mask was delivered to Elliott at practice yesterday by World War II veteran Charles Rohde. If you missed it, you can watch the video and read more by clicking here.

Elliott will auction the mask off at a later date, with proceeds benefiting charity.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.10.2014 / 9:46 AM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

You couldn’t possibly have a fantasy hockey blog this week without mentioning Vladimir Tarasenko.

So let’s start there.

After being named the NHL’s No. 1 Star of the Week on Nov. 3 with five goals the previous week, Tarasenko just kept rolling, eventually tying a career-high with goals in four consecutive games. In the four games last week, Tarasenko had three goals and three assists.

In 14 games overall, the Blues forward leads the team in goals (9), points (17) and plus / minus (+11). He is tied for second on the team in assists (8).

“If you play with a guy that has that big self confidence, it helps me of course,” said linemate Jori Lehtera. “I just try to get pucks to him and good things happen.”

Find a way to get Tarasenko on your fantasy hockey team and good things will happen for you, too.

WHO’S HOT

Jake Allen - Before giving up a few goals late in the third period Thursday against the Devils, Jake Allen posted a consecutive shutout minutes streak of 184 minutes, 38 seconds. It was the longest shutout streak by a Blues rookie in franchise history and was the fifth longest on the club overall. Allen leads all rookies in wins (4). His .944 save-percentage and 1.40 goals-against average rank second and first respectively among all goalies.

GREAT MATCHUP

Alex Pietrangelo had one goal and five assists in five games against the Nashville Predators last season. He also had a plus-five rating in those games. The Blues will play the Predators on Thursday night at Scottrade Center. If you have Pietrangelo, make sure he’s in your lineup Thursday.

BLUES SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Nov. 11 vs. Buffalo Sabres
Nov. 13 vs. Nashville Predators
Nov. 15 vs. Washington Capitals

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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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 21 12 4 5 58 53 29
2 NSH 20 13 5 2 57 42 28
3 CGY 22 13 7 2 71 61 28
4 STL 20 13 6 1 53 41 27
5 VAN 20 13 6 1 61 60 27
6 LAK 21 11 6 4 57 49 26
7 CHI 20 12 7 1 62 40 25
8 SJS 23 10 9 4 62 64 24
9 WPG 21 10 8 3 43 47 23
10 MIN 19 11 8 0 54 43 22
11 DAL 21 8 9 4 61 72 20
12 ARI 21 9 10 2 53 65 20
13 COL 21 7 9 5 53 67 19
14 EDM 21 6 13 2 49 74 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 20 12 11 16 23
J. Schwartz 20 7 13 10 20
J. Lehtera 19 7 12 13 19
K. Shattenkirk 20 1 15 8 16
A. Steen 20 4 8 1 12
D. Backes 19 5 4 -3 9
A. Pietrangelo 20 1 8 -3 9
P. Stastny 12 2 3 -6 5
P. Berglund 19 2 2 -1 4
C. Gunnarsson 13 1 3 6 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 8 4 1 .927 1.90
J. Allen 5 2 0 .922 2.00

 
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