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Blues hope for more of the same against Devils

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

NEW JERSEY - For a team that is currently sitting in first place in the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues aren't making it easy to find fresh storylines.

That's because everything has pretty much remained the same - and that's a good thing.

Here are a few examples of what you've been able to bank on every night with these Blues:

1. The team continues to win despite many key injuries. Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Jay Bouwmeester (ankle), Robby Fabbri (knee) and Zach Sanford (shoulder) are all still out with injuries. Berglund is skating and was originally expected to return in December, but Bouwmeeter's progress has been slower than anticipated and there is no date for his return. Fabbri and Sanford are out for the foreseeable future, yet the Blues still sit first in the Western Conference.

2. Jaden Schwartz keeps dominating. The Blues forward contributed three assists in a 6-4 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and remains third in the League in points with 20 (eight goals, 12 assists).

Video: Chase, Pang preview Blues vs. Devils

3. The defense keeps scoring. Alex Pietrangelo scored two goals Saturday to remain No. 1 among NHL defensemen in points with 15. Joel Edmundson contributed a goal in Saturday's win, too, giving him a new career high with four. The Blues lead all teams in the League with 17 goals from defensemen.

4. Jake Allen keeps rolling. The Blues goaltender made 27 saves in a wide-open game on Saturday, posting his eighth win of the season, which ranks second in the League among goaltenders.

If the Blues are to keep things going, they're going to need more of the same on Tuesday night when they meet the New Jersey Devils at 6 p.m. CT at Prudential Center (FSMW, FSGO, KMOX).

The Devils have started the season 9-3-1 and have four players in double digits in points: Taylor Hall (17), Jesper Bratt (12), Will Butcher (12) and Nico Hischier (10). New Jersey is coming off of a three-game road trip through Western Canada where they went 1-1-1, collecting three of a possible six points. New Jersey remains the top team in the Metropolitan Division and is second overall in the East.

Video: Schenn, Edmundson discuss facing New Jersey

"They play a fast game. They've added some pieces that have helped them," said Blues forward Brayden Schenn. "I don't think it's the old New Jersey style... I think they're playing a fast-paced game, a skilled game, and obviously their record shows it."

"Lots of goals, lots of speed," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "They've gotten younger, but the speed is not just in their skating ability. It's in their pace of play, their transition game and their counter attack. They're playing a real strong game right now and it's showing up."

The Blues have won seven straight games against the Devils, outscoring them 24-8 in that span. The Blues have gone 8-for-25 against New Jersey in those seven games and have killed off 19 straight Devils power plays.

HOT VS. NEW JERSEY

- Vladimir Tarasenko (upper-body) will play tonight and has six points in his last two games vs. New Jersey (one goal, five assists)

- Alex Pietrangelo has a five-game point streak against the Devils (one goal, four assists).

Video: Yeo discusses facing New Jersey tonight

- Jaden Schwartz has at least one point in all six of his career games against the Devils (two goals, five assists)

- Jake Allen is 5-0-0 with a 1.20 goals-against average, a .952 save-percentage and two shutouts in five career starts against New Jersey.

BLUE NOTES

- Alexander Steen recorded his 412th point as a Blue on Saturday, tying Red Berenson for eighth all-time among forwards in Blues history.

- Vladimir Sobotka has three goals in his lsat four games.

- Tarasenko recorded his 300th career point in Saturday's win against the Maple Leafs.

- 49 years ago today, Red Berenson scored six goals and added an assist in an 8-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

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