Second and final meeting of the season. Matt D’Agostini scored with 1:02 left in overtime to give the Blues a 3-2 win on Oct. 21 at Scottrade Center. St. Louis had rallied from a two goal deficit on tallies by Jason Arnott and David Backes after Carolina got goals from Jay Harrison and Brandon Sutter. Nearly five months after their initial matchup, the Blues are in the driver’s seat to capture the Presidents’ Trophy and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Hurricanes are playing out the string.
St. Louis leads the NHL by a wide margin in team goals against average at 1.86, while Brian Elliott (1.61) and Jaroslav Halak (1.87) rank 1-2 among goalies in that category.
Jaroslav saw a streak of 10 consecutive starts in which he allowed two goals or less come to an end Tuesday against Chicago, though he could hardly be faulted for the eventual 4-3 shootout loss St. Louis suffered.
Halak stopped 43 shots through regulation and overtime as well as two of three attempts in the penalty shot tiebreaker, but the Blues were stymied there by Corey Crawford.
They had chased Blackhawks starter Ray Emery with first period goals by Jamie Langenbrunner, Andy McDonald and Patrik Berglund, but were unable to build on their 3-1 lead.
McDonald has 4 goals and 5 assists during a six game points streak for the Blues, as well as 6 goals in his last eight games. Berglund (3-2-5) and David Perron (2-3-5) have four-game points streaks active.
St. Louis defenseman Kent Huskins (bruised hand) hasn’t played since March 5. D’Agostini, forward Alex Steen and defenseman Kris Russell are all sidelined with concussion related symptoms
This is one of only two home dates for Carolina in a 12 game stretch that accounts for much of the month of March. The Hurricanes come off a respectable 2-2-1 road trip that ended with a 4-2 loss to the Eastern Conference leading Rangers on Tuesday.
They spotted New York a three goal lead before Tim Brent and Drayson Bowman scored 32 seconds apart late in the second period to make it a game. But Martin Biron shut the door from there and Carl Hagelin added an insurance marker in the third.
Jeff Skinner has 3 goals and 6 assists in his last nine games for the Hurricanes.
Carolina defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (strained lower back) was out of the lineup Tuesday, while forward Jiri Tlusty (upper body) has missed two straight. Defenseman Joni Pitkanen (concussion/knee) is on injured reserve.
Goalie Cam Ward ranks second in the League in both shots faced (1,828) and saves (1,666).
St Louis Blues – TBD
Carolina Hurricanes – Cam Ward
The Hurricanes have been exceptionally good at home, but going up against the best team in the NHL, the Canes may find difficulty in winning. Expect a tight game coming down to the final period with the Blues pulling away.
ST. LOUIS BLUES -155 (1 UNIT)
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