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Oilers come home looking for win against Blues

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 11:41 PM

BLUES (23-7-3) at OILERS (11-23-3)

TV: CBC; FS-MW

Last 10: St. Louis 5-4-1; Edmonton 3-6-1

Season series: This is the first of three games between the St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers. The Blues won two of three games last season and have taken five of the past six.

Big story: The Oilers return home after an 0-4-0 road trip to face one of the NHL's top teams. The Blues begin a two-game swing through Alberta after dominating the Montreal Canadiens at home in a 5-1 victory Thursday.

Team Scope:

Blues: Hours after St. Louis rewarded Alexander Steen with a three-year contract extension, he returned the favor by scoring twice in the victory against Montreal. With 24 goals in the first 34 games, Steen has matched his single-season high and tripled his output from last season.

Steen scored twice in the Blues' three-goal first period.

"We came out with a lot of jump," he said. "We knew they were a good team that plays physical, has a lot of speed, but it felt like we went out and dictated from the early going."

Oilers: Edmonton's power play is in the middle of the NHL pack at 17.7 percent. But the Oilers are paying a big price for their sloppiness with the puck while they're up a man. Edmonton leads the NHL with eight shorthanded goals allowed, three more than any team. The eighth came in the second period Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche and led to a 4-2 road loss.

"You need your power play to give you momentum and it's sucking the life out of us right now. It has to change," coach Dallas Eakins said after the game. "The answer is for our power-play guys to get the job done and they have to be better. It's as simple as that."

Who's hot: Blues center Derek Roy has five points in his past five games. Forward Jaden Schwartz has two goals and four points in three games this week. … Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored has a goal in two of his past three games.

Injury report: Blues forward David Backes (concussion) has missed the past two games. Forward Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Friday, joining forward Ryan Reaves (hand) and defenseman Jordan Leopold (hand). … Oilers center Mark Arcobello (ribs) sat out against the Avalanche.

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