ST. LOUIS - In the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators both got points as the Kings took a 3-2 overtime victory at Staples Center last night. That's not exactly the best-case scenario for the Blues, who are chasing the Predators and trying to stay ahead of the Kings, but sometimes that's just the way it goes.
"It's impossible not to (scoreboard watch)," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said recently. "It's human nature, of course we're going to watch. But that said, we're in a position and we've earned the position where we control our own destiny right now. We can't hope our way into the playoffs, we can't hope other teams are going to lose. We've got to win a lot of hockey games and we've got to get points along the way. If we do that, we'll be fine."
Tonight at 7 p.m. (FSMW, KMOX), the Blues will battle the Anaheim Ducks, another team that's fighting for playoff positioning. The Ducks currently sit in second place in the Pacific Division but are trying to fend off the Calgary Flames, who are just two points behind them and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games.
The Blues enter tonight's game against Anaheim boasting the League's top goals-against average (1.67) and save-percentage (.940) since Feb. 1 when Yeo took over. In that time, the Blues also have the League's fifth-best penalty kill at 89.5 percent.
Video: Goaltending, defense leading the way for Blues
"The biggest thing is the goalies are making the first save and we're not giving up the second opportunities or big chances," captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "As defensemen and forwards, we're doing a good job of clearing the second opportunities and rebounds and guys in front of the net."
"I think it's just a matter of us coming together and being together in the D-zone," said defenseman Colton Parayko. "Realizing mistakes happen and that's a good opportunity for us to support players. It's a good chance of our team down the stretch to stick with the plan and keep that going."
The Blues took a 2-1 overtime win against the Ducks on Jan. 15 in the first meeting between the clubs. Patrik Berglund scored both goals in the game to lead the Blues to victory. The series will wrap up next week as the Blues will meet the Ducks twice over the next six days, including tonight's contest.
Overall, the Blues are 3-0-1 over their last four games against the Ducks and have won three straight vs. Anaheim at Scottrade Center.
"We've shown we can do it," Yeo said of the Blues' ability to beat top teams. "Now we have to show we can do it consistently. (Tuesday's win vs. Minnesota) should provide a blueprint for the way we played the game right from the drop of the puck. It's nice we have that and nice to have that in the bank, but it's what we do going forward now."