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Blues could clinch playoff spot tonight in Arizona

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ARIZONA - The St. Louis Blues have a chance to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive season tonight if they take care of their own business against the Arizona Coyotes (9:30 p.m., FSMW, KMOX) and get a little help from the Calgary Flames.

If the Blues win tonight, the club will clinch a postseason berth if the Flames also beat the Los Angeles Kings in any fashion in their 8 p.m. CT game tonight. If the Kings lose in regulation, the Blues could clinch a playoff spot with just one point tonight in Arizona.

"We obviously know what's on the line tonight, and it's an exciting time for our group," said defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. "We put ourselves in a good spot to get in the dance. It's going to be a good challenge tonight, but we're excited. But nothing really ends until we're done with 82 games. We're looking to build every night as a team and grow and get better. We're making good strides, and positionally we want to keep climbing and do everything we can to put ourselves in position to have success."

Tonight's clinching scenario has been made possible with a considerable turnaround for the Blues, who found themselves on the outside of the Wild Card at one point in late January. Since Mike Yeo took over as Head Coach on Feb. 1, the Blues have gone 18-6-1.

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the Blues are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games, outscoring opponent 36-18.

Video: Blues hope to clinch playoff spot tonight

Since Feb. 1, the club has also allowed the fewest goals in the League (43), which includes the fewest goals at even strength (25). The penalty kill has also dispatched 62 of 69 power-play chances (89.9 percent), which is first overall. Jake Allen and Carter Hutton have combined for a League-best .940 save-percentage and five shutouts in that span.

"We're in a good position," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "You come into a game like this tonight and we have a chance to clinch. We can do our part, but we need somebody else to do their part. I think we've got a chance, we've got an opportunity here.

"We've always said our goal had two parts: to make sure we get in (the playoffs), and the second, to make sure your game is real sharp," Yeo added. "Making the playoffs is a big deal, and to have a chance to do that tonight is pretty exciting."

"We never doubted ourselves in this locker room," Hutton added. "We knew from the start we had a good team, we just had some struggles up and down. We found our game and we're playing strong. We're just trying to continue that."

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