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Blues Try to Stay Undefeated against Hawks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM
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Blues Try to Stay Undefeated against Hawks
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks

BLUES (47-14-7) at BLACKHAWKS (39-15-15)


Last 10: St. Louis 8-1-1; Chicago 4-5-1

Blue Notes: With a win tonight in Chicago, the Blues can clinch a playoff spot. T.J. Oshie will return to the lineup after missing Monday's game due to the birth of his daughter. The Blues have won four consecutive games against the Blackhawks dating back to last season. Tonight marks the 290th meeting between the teams. David Backes (two goals, two assists) and Patrik Berglund (two goals, two assists) are on four-game point streaks vs. Chicago. Jay Bouwmeester (four assists) and Alex Pietrangelo (four assists) are on three-game point streaks against the Blackhawks. Since joining the Blues, Ryan Miller is 7-0-1 and is the first Blues goaltender to record points in his first eight starts. He has a 1.61 goals-against average and a .933 save-percentage since joining the Blues.

Season series: This is the fourth of five games between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues are 3-0-0 against the Blackhawks this season, with the past two victories coming in the shootout.

Big story: Chicago likely needs this one if it plans on remaining in the Central Division race. The Blues enter the game eight points ahead of the Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche; Colorado and Chicago are tied with 93 points apiece, but the Avalanche are ahead because they have five more non-shootout victories.

Team Scope:

Blues: After earning a 3-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Scottrade Center on Monday, the Blues held an optional skate Tuesday morning. Right wing T.J. Oshie did not participate; his fiancee gave birth to the couple's first child Monday. However, Oshie was expected to travel with the team to Chicago and be in the lineup Wednesday night.

Only six players participated in the skate Tuesday. One of them was forward Magnus Paajarvi, who is working his way back from an upper-body injury.

"Been resting and been doing some activity," Paajarvi said. "It was nice to get back and it feels better for sure."

Blackhawks: Chicago did get a point Tuesday night, but couldn't get a second in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Now the Blackhawks face the challenge of finally solving the Blues, whom they haven't beaten in three attempts this season.

"Right now they're the best team in the League," said Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, who scored his first goal in 30 games Tuesday. "It's going to be a fun game, a good challenge. They've got a lot of depth on that team. It seems like they've been building that team, that same group of guys for three or four years now, and you know they're going to be hungry."

Who's hot: Blues center David Backes scored twice Monday and has a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists). … Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in as many games and Andrew Shaw has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past six. Forward Marian Hossa has one goal and three assists in his past two.

Injury report: The Blues could be without forwards Paajarvi and Vladimir Tarasenko (hand), along with defenseman Jordan Leopold (flu). … Forward Brandon Saad (upper body) and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (shoulder) are out for the Blackhawks.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 06 '14 STL 2 at CHI 4 M. Kruger
Mar 19 '14 STL 0 at CHI 4 D. Keith
Dec 28 '13 CHI 5 at STL 6 - SO K. Shattenkirk
Oct 17 '13 STL 3 at CHI 2 - SO T. Oshie
Oct 09 '13 CHI 2 at STL 3 A. Steen
T. Oshie67173754+203454
A. Steen57302353+154058
J. Schwartz66213051+282131
D. Backes63232649+128994
A. Pietrangelo6883947+232021
V. Tarasenko64212243+201653
K. Shattenkirk6793140+92865
D. Roy6592837+22442
J. Bouwmeester6843034+281610
P. Berglund65141731+133822
V. Sobotka4982028+216211
C. Stewart58151126+211233
B. Morrow61111122+44832
S. Ott6891322-276261
B. Jackman6731114+167501
M. Lapierre587613+15601
M. Paajarvi446612-2401
R. Polak584711+104900
I. Cole433811+162500
R. Reaves49246+111700
J. Leopold24156+2400
C. Colaiacovo14123-11000
D. Jaskin10112+0400
A. Cracknell17022+2000
C. Porter13011+2000
J. Halak4024-9-48310022.23.917
R. Miller4822-22-412116042.53.925
B. Elliott2616-5-2495842.07.916
P. Kane68293968+722106
P. Sharp69293766+163682
J. Toews69273865+273054
M. Hossa59252954+281844
D. Keith6845054+242221
B. Saad68192544+292032
B. Seabrook6963137+301630
A. Shaw67171532+125342
K. Versteeg68102131-53011
N. Leddy6971926+13841
M. Kruger6962026+103401
N. Hjalmarsson6942125+143201
B. Smith6291221+6201
J. Oduya6731215+83401
B. Bollig697714+57101
M. Handzus494913+01002
B. Bickell5210212-72302
B. Pirri286511+6610
P. Regin51459-92000
M. Rozsival38167+43000
S. Brookbank36145+34501
J. Morin15145+23000
M. Kostka9213+3801
J. Nordstrom10112+2200
D. Rundblad13011-3600
B. Mills3000-1000
J. Hayes2000+1000
C. Crawford4926-12-1010612892.26.918
A. Raanta2112-3-4495152.45.905
N. Khabibulin41-0-114745.00.811
K. Simpson10-0-0276.00.714

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