Preview: New Jersey at St. Louis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Having put an end to a five-game losing streak, the battered and bruised St. Louis Blues will open a four-game homestand against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. The Blues lost five players to injury in a pair of weekend games versus Anaheim and Los Angeles and four of them, including No. 1 goaltender Jake Allen, are listed as week-to-week.
St. Louis has seven games remaining until the All-Star break and is trying to persevere through the latest wave of injuries that also victimized defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Carl Gunnarsson and forward Magnus Paajarvi. “It’s been that type of season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’ve battled through this thing. Nobody’s feeling sorry for us in the League. We’ve got to get points and we’ve got to finish this thing strong.” New Jersey has injury concerns of its own with leading scorer Michael Cammalleri set to miss his sixth consecutive game. The Devils have dropped four in a row to the Blues, including a 2-0 setback at home on Nov. 10.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus 2 (New Jersey), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (21-17-5): New Jersey snapped a three-game skid with a 2-1 victory at Minnesota on Sunday in the opener of a four-game road trip, but the Devils have scored only four goals in their last four games and managed 17 shots versus the Wild. Defenseman John Moore is dealing with a lower-body injury that will cause him to miss a third game in a row while Keith Kinkaid will get a rare start in place of workhorse Cory Schneider. “We’ve got to get him playing,” New Jersey coach John Hynes said of Kinkaid. “We didn’t want to go too long. It’s a good opportunity for him.”
ABOUT THE BLUES (24-14-7): While St. Louis is hopeful that center Paul Stastny will be able to play against New Jersey, the team recalled forward Ty Rattie and defenseman Chris Butler from Chicago of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis. Brian Elliott made 26 saves in Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Kings and will be in for a heavy workload with Allen sidelined by a lower-body injury. “I think he’s really looking forward to carrying the ball here,” Hitchcock said. “I’m really confident that he’s going to play awful well every night and gives us a chance to win.”
1. A victory will make Hitchcock the sixth coach in league history to notch 200 wins with two different teams.
2. The Devils are 0-for-9 on the power play over the past four games.
3. Elliott is 2-4-0 with a 2.71 goals-against average versus New Jersey.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Devils 1