Preview: St. Louis at Arizona
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 20, 2016
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
The surging St. Louis Blues have dominated opponents from the Pacific Division this season and look to continue that trend when they pay a visit to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. The Blues extended their winning streak to four games with a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday to improve to 9-2-1 against Pacific foes.
Brian Elliott has been magnificent for St. Louis since starter Jake Allen was injured early last month, posting three straight 2-1 victories while making 16 consecutive starts. Elliott is 11-3-2 in that span and riding a six-game point streak (5-0-1) for the Blues, who are only four points behind Central Division-leading Chicago. The Coyotes attempt to wrap up a perfect three-game homestand behind a revitalized offense that has produced six goals in back-to-back victories over Dallas and Montreal. Arizona has been unable to solve the Blues, losing six straight meetings while scoring a total of six goals.
TV: 9 p.m. ET; FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Arizona
ABOUT THE BLUES (34-17-9): St. Louis is undefeated since the return of Jaden Schwartz, who provided a nice boost to the offense by scoring in three of four contests since returning from a 49-game absence due to a broken ankle. Schwartz, who set career highs with 28 goals and 63 points last season, netted the game-winning tally on a breakaway in overtime Thursday and looks to build on his success at a venue where he has registered four goals and nine points in five contests. Rookie Robby Fabbri has matched Schwartz with three goals in four games and has points in five of his last six.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (27-24-6): Arizona also is getting a lift from its young legs as rookies Max Domi and Anthony Duclair combined with Martin Hanzal to amass nine points in Thursday’s 6-3 victory over Dallas. Domi ended a 14-game goal-scoring drought by tallying twice and setting up another goal to move into second place on the team with 39 points, while Duclair collected three assists to give him four goals and nine points over his last nine games. Hanzal has been hotter than both of his rookie linemates, scoring in three straight games and putting together back-to-back three-point performances.
1. The Coyotes are 10-for-30 on the power play over their last seven games.
2. Elliott is 5-2-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average and two shutouts versus Arizona.
3. Coyotes G Mike Smith, sidelined since undergoing abdominal surgery in December, is expected to join the team on its upcoming five-game road trip.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Coyotes 1