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Blues Comfortable on Road Entering Game 3

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

SAN JOSE - Like Willie Nelson says - "we’re on the road again, we just can’t wait to get on the road again."

That’s where the Blues have seemed to be most comfortable so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The club already has five playoff wins away from Scottrade Center this season, which sets a new postseason franchise record.

But it goes even deeper than that. Check out these stats:

Category: Home  |  Road
Record: 4-5  |  5-2
Goals Per Game: 2.33  |  3.57
Goals Allowed Per Game: 2.33  |  2.57
Power Play %: 6.7%  |  38.9%
Penalty Kill %: 76.9%  |  81%

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said he isn’t sure why it’s been more difficult to find success at home.

“I’m not sure why, I’m not sure the players even know why, but we seem to want to play a little different at home than we do on the road,” Hitchcock said after Game 2.

“Sometimes it’s a little easier playing on the road just because there are no distractions,” Blues forward Paul Stastny said. “It’s just 23 guys against everyone else. You really have to come together and play as a team. The NHL is one of the few sports where I don’t think home ice is as big as it is in basketball or European soccer.”

Dating back to the regular season, the Blues are 10-2-0 on the road since March 19. They won three of four playoff games in the second round against Dallas and two of three in the first round against Chicago.

In March, the Blues won their onely regular season game in San Jose (1-0).

“We’re at our best when we’re playing Blues hockey, and playing simple. Hard and fast is part of that,” Blues forward Robby Fabbri said. “We got away from that in spurts of last game and they took advantage of it.”

The Blues are 2-0 in Game 3 in the postseason so far. Game 3s are often pivotal ones, and tonight’s 8 p.m. CT game from SAP Center (NBCSN, Y98 FM) will probably be no different.

"We need to play better than we did in Game 2," Hitchcock said. "We know we will. We know what it looks like."

LINEUP CHANGES

Hitchcock promised lineup changes for Game 3, but he wouldn’t disclose what those changes would be.

“We’re making changes. We’ve always done it when we don’t feel that our group isn't performing the way we want them to," he said. "We’ve been fortunate that every time we’ve made the changes we’ve played better, so we’re looking to make changes again.”

Perhaps we’ll see Magnus Paajarvi or Dmitrij Jaskin back among the forward group. Robert Bortuzzo could return to the lineup defensively, but we'll have to wait until warm-ups to know for sure.

BLUE NOTES

Paul Stastny led all players with 12 face-off wins in Game 2, going 12 for 15. He has at least 10 face-off wins in 11 of 16 postseason games.

The Blues have only trailed once in a series in the postseason - after losing Game 1 to Dallas last round.

Patrik Berglund leads all current Blues with seven points (three goals, four assists) in seven career playoff games against the Sharks.

The Blues’ five road playoff wins in 2016 is a single-season franchise record.

Blues fans can enjoy tonight’s game with their fellow Blues fans in St. Louis at Ballpark Village or at HotShots in Wentzville (49 Wentzville Bluffs Drive). Both Blues Bash locations will feature prize giveaways and more!

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