Preview: St. Louis at Colorado
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
After ending a four-game home slide, the Colorado Avalanche look to hand the visiting St. Louis Blues a season-high fourth straight loss on Wednesday when the Central Division rivals meet at the Pepsi Center. Veteran Jarome Iginla became the 19th NHL player to reach the 600-goal plateau in Monday’s 4-1 victory over Los Angeles and his next tally will tie Jari Kurri for 18th place in league history.
“When it comes down to it, it’s about winning games and everything like that,” the 38-year-old Iginla said. “We need to start climbing back and catching some teams.” Semyon Varlamov had dropped four in a row before turning aside 30 shots versus the Kings, and the 27-year-old Russian made a season-high 42 saves in Colorado’s 3-1 win over St. Louis on Dec. 13. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk notched an assist in the initial meeting with the Avalanche and netted his third goal in four games in a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa on Monday.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE BLUES (23-14-5): Goaltender Jake Allen told reporters that the team’s three-game road trip could be just what the doctor ordered. “We don’t have to impress anyone on the road,” said Allen, who has been confirmed to start Wednesday’s game. “We just play to win and play to get points, that’s it. Points, points, points. If we can come out of this trip with a positive amount of points, it’ll be great for us.” Magnus Paajarvi is expected to play versus Colorado despite seeing a deflected puck hit him the face during Tuesday’s practice.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (19-18-3): Tyson Barrie recorded two goals and two assists on Monday for his first career four-point performance, but the defenseman has failed to dent the scoresheet in each of his 13 encounters with St. Louis. Former Blue defenseman Erik Johnson suffered a lower-body injury in the second period versus Los Angeles and is expected to be sidelined anywhere from “five, 10 days, 12 days … short term,” coach Patrick Roy told the team’s website. The top overall pick of the 2006 draft, Johnson had enjoyed an offensive surge with two goals and four assists during a recent five-game stretch.
1. Colorado has scored 11 power-play goals in the last seven contests following a dismal 1-for-26 stretch in the previous 10 games.
2. St. Louis has squandered leads in four straight contests and six of its last eight.
3. The Avalanche claimed D Andrew Bodnarchuk off waivers from Columbus on Tuesday.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Avalanche 2