Preview: Florida at St. Louis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
The St. Louis Blues are rolling along with the second-best record in the Western Conference and look to extend their point streak to six games when they host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. St. Louis has battled through an abundance of injuries to put up a similar record to last season at this point with a group that might have more versatility and personality.
“We’re trying to get the team with a little bit more structure, a little bit more continuity on the ice,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Dispatch. “But you’ve got to love the spirit that we play with.” St. Louis is 3-0-2 during its run while Florida arrives after posting its second straight victory – a 2-1 overtime triumph at Detroit. The Panthers have received two straight strong performances from Roberto Luongo (three goals allowed), who is 15-12-2 lifetime against the Blues. Leading scorer Jaromir Jagr comes in with 730 career goals, one shy of tying Marcel Dionne for fourth place on the all-time list.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (10-9-4): Jagr saw his five-game point streak come to an end at Detroit but tops the team with 18 while Jussi Jokinen (16) has recorded four in his last four contests. Florida hopes Sunday’s overtime goal sparks a surge for offensive defenseman Brian Campbell, who has registered two goals overall and four points in his last 14 games. Dylan Olsen replaced Alex Petrovic (foot) in the lineup Sunday and fellow blue-liner Dmitry Kulikov (knee) could return soon.
ABOUT THE BLUES (15-6-3): Vladimir Tarasenko notched a goal and an assist in the 3-1 win over Columbus on Saturday for his fifth multi-point performance in his last eight games. Tarasenko leads the team with 14 goals and 24 points – three better than Alex Steen, who has recorded one tally and three assists in his last two contests. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has recorded at least one point in eight straight games (10 total) after registering just one in his first six contests of the season.
1. The Panthers are allowing 31.4 shots per game, the fifth-highest amount in the league entering Monday.
2. St. Louis C Jori Lehtera is slated to play his 100th NHL contest on Tuesday.
3. Florida veteran C Dave Bolland has been a healthy scratch the last three games.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Panthers 1