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game preview

Struggling Blues ready to host Canucks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Struggling Blues ready to host Canucks
Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues
CANUCKS (36-11-9) AT BLUES (24-21-9)

TV – RDS, SNET-VAN (HD)

Last 10: Vancouver 7-1-2; St. Louis 3-4-3.

Season Series – The four-game season series between Vancouver and St. Louis is split 1-1 in two games played so far. The Blues edged out the Canucks 3-2 on Dec. 5 at Rogers Arena and Vancouver took the next contest with a 3-1 victory in St. Louis on Dec. 20. Alexander Steen has notched three goals against in two games against Vancouver so far this season. 

Big Story – The League-leading Canucks take on the struggling Blues, who had been the last team to beat Vancouver in regulation on Dec. 5 until the Canucks fell to Anaheim five days ago. Although St. Louis has dropped seven of its last 10, perhaps it can rebound with a performance similar to its Dec. 5 efforts to take the lead in the season series.

Team Scope:

Canucks – Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Burrows came up big for the Canucks on Saturday in a Hockey Day in Canada tilt against the Calgary Flames. Samuelsson and Burrows each had a pair of goals in the 4-2 victory but Samuelsson had both the game-tying and the game-winning goals.

"Pucks are going in for me now, I had chances before and I didn't bury them, but that's how the season goes … it goes up and down and you just have to stay with it," said Samuelsson, who has 15 goals and two game-winners this year.

Vancouver hardly needed the two points from Saturday's game as it boasts a League-best 81 points on the season. The next closest team is Philadelphia with 77 points and the Canucks have a comfortable seven-point cushion over the Wings, their closest competitor in the West.

Blues – St. Louis fell to the 13th spot in the West with two losses over the weekend to the Minnesota Wild in a home-and-home series against the Western Conference foe. Minnesota dominated play in the scrappy second meeting, a 3-1 loss for St. Louis, on Saturday. Patrick Berglund scored St. Louis' lone goal in that game. The first contest resulted in a 5-4 shootout loss for the Blues.

"Obviously we came away with a result we're not happy with, but it was an old-school battle," said Blues center T.J. Oshie, adding: "It's fun to play in that atmosphere, guys running around hitting. They just got the best of us these two."

St. Louis will have to spring back from the double-loss over the weekend to make up ground in the ultra-tight Western Conference.

Who's hot – Alex Burrows boasts the longest active point streak in the NHL with eight goals and three assists in nine games.

Injury report  – The IR list in Vancouver includes Keith Ballard (knee sprain), Lee Sweatt (foot), Alexander Edler (back) and forward Guillaume Desbiens (hand) while Hamhuis is out indefinitely. … In St. Louis, Carlo Colaiacovo was activated from IR on Friday after missing seven games due to an eye injury. David Perron is still out with a concussion.

Stat Pack – Roberto Luongo remains unbeaten in regulation since Dec. 5 (16-0-5, GAA 1.90) and the Canucks have earned a point or more in each of his starts in the past two months.

Puck Drop – "We have to understand that success comes from that collective five-man effort. This is not the time of year where you can have any guys off." -- Blues coach Davis Payne

2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 24 '11STL 2 at VAN 3M. Malhotra
Feb 14 '11VAN 2 at STL 3P. Berglund
Dec 20 '10VAN 3 at STL 1R. Kesler
Dec 05 '10STL 3 at VAN 2A. Steen
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Sedin57294473+2318126
H. Sedin57135568+222252
R. Kesler57322254+2448106
M. Samuelsson56152439+102842
A. Burrows47171936+214213
C. Ehrhoff54102434+103261
A. Edler4982432+102251
M. Raymond46102030+10624
R. Torres57111122-44534
M. Malhotra5761319+01620
K. Bieksa5661319+256912
J. Hansen5771118+51601
D. Hamhuis4741418+212620
J. Tambellini419817+91810
T. Glass57369-35801
A. Alberts42167+04100
K. Ballard43235+53700
A. Bolduc19123+01900
A. Rome31033-32900
P. Schaefer16112-3200
A. Volpatti15112-11600
C. Hodgson5112+1000
L. Sweatt3112+4201
M. Bliznak4101+1000
S. Shirokov2101+1000
C. Tanev11011+0000
R. Rypien9011-53100
S. Salo2011+1200
G. Desbiens12000-31000
J. Perrault7000-1000
J. Andersson4000+1000
R. Parent4000-3000
V. Oreskovich2000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Luongo4327-9-79612952.24.926
C. Schneider169-3-2354422.38.921
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Backes55202141+158131
A. Steen55162541+32215
B. Boyes55112637+103042
P. Berglund55151934-71671
M. D'Agostini55121527+52933
A. Pietrangelo5262127+101531
A. McDonald31101323+71621
V. Sobotka5151722-25010
E. Johnson5451318-103712
C. Colaiacovo3941317-111301
J. McClement5561016-141411
T. Oshie2431215+1810
E. Brewer548614+15701
B. Winchester509413-108631
B. Crombeen555611-169600
B. Jackman4301010+82700
D. Perron10527+71200
R. Polak31145-12701
N. Nikitin20123-4400
R. Reaves8202+02601
P. McRae7112-3200
C. Porter25022-31400
N. Oystrick7022+2900
T. Strachan24011-72900
A. Cracknell9011+0200
D. Scatchard8011+1600
T. Hensick5011-6200
C. Janssen30000-77800
I. Cole13000-22300
S. Della Rovere7000+01100
N. Drazenovic3000-3000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Halak4319-17-611011832.63.907
T. Conklin156-4-3443743.21.882

 
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