ST. PAUL - As the Blues hit the road for Game 5 with a chance to wrap up the best-of-7 series with Minnesota, they can carry some confidence knowing that they've had plenty of success on the road as of late.
Dating back to the regular season, the Blues have won eight of their last nine games away from Scottrade Center and have outscored their opponents 29-14 in that span. Those eight wins include two at Xcel Energy Center to begin this first-round playoff series.
"We've been good at bouncing back after losses, so the focus is going to Minnesota and taking that fourth win," said defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. "We've been winning a lot on the road so hopefully we can keep that going."
"It's never easy going into an opponent's building this time of year," added Scottie Upshall. "That group is playing desperate hockey and they know what's at skate. Our group, after two big wins in the first couple of games, we know what we have to do to win. We can control what goes on in our room and that's being ready to play a good afternoon game. It's a great opportunity to close out a great team like that in five games in their building. It will be a big challenge and it will be a lot of fun."
Game 5 begins at 2 p.m. CT and is available on NBC, KMOX 1120 AM or Y98 FM in St. Louis.
Video: Strickland and Federko preview Game 5
The Blues did not hold a morning skate before Game 5, and Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo wasn't ready to discuss any lineup decisions after practice on Friday, so it's uncertain whether Paul Stastny will be back in the lineup for today's game.
Stastny did participate in a full practice with the team on Friday, his fifth consecutive day on the ice with teammates. During the practice, he was skating with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko.
"Getting a player back is always nice. It helps stabilize things, helps give you a little bit more options," Yeo said. "But getting a player back is not the answer. In a lot of ways, we lost players and it sharpened our focus because guys understood that they needed to bear down and do their jobs and do the little things. We have to make sure we continue to have that mindset, and if you (do that and) add a player like 'Stas', you become a better team."
EXPECT A TOUGH SERIES
While it certainly would have been nice to wrap up the best-of-7 series with a sweep on Wednesday, it's probably safe to say neither team expected it to be that easy.
"We did a good job until that point," said Gunnarsson. "Game 4 was a disappointment. We can't expect them to shut it down, they're not going to do that. We have to step it up for Saturday's game and prepare for that one and get ready."