VANCOUVER - A win tonight would move the Blues to within three points of the division-leading Nashville Predators. A win would also put the Blues seven points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks, who sit third in the division.
Both Nashville and Chicago are idle tonight and have played 63 games. Tonight will be game No. 63 for St. Louis (8:30 p.m., FSMW, KMOX).
“I think the players recognize what’s at stake,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said before Saturday’s game in Edmonton. “We’re preparing for Edmonton (now), but less than 24 hours later we’ve got to get ready for Vancouver. I think you just prepare to play your game and play it as well as you can.”
After traveling from Edmonton last night, the Blues did not have a morning skate today in Vancouver.
The Canucks are injury-riddled group that is without defensemen Kevin Bieksa, Christopher Tanev and Alex Edler. They’re also without right wing Alexandre Burrows and goalie Ryan Miller. Despite the injuries, Vancouver is 4-2-0 in their last six games and sits in second place in the Pacific Division.
The Blues can’t afford another slow start tonight at Rogers Arena.
“I'm concerned about our slow starts,” Hitchcock said last night’s 2-1 win in Edmonton. “I'm concerned about the way we play in our starts. We don't look like we get to our game near soon enough … and we're going to have to find a way to get into our game a little bit earlier.”
NO ROAD WOES
Already two games into this five-game road trip, the Blues will play nine of their next 12 games on the road. After tonight, the Blues head home to St. Louis for a few days before traveling to Philadelphia and Toronto later in the week.
The Blues have won four consecutive games on the road and nine of the last 10. A win tonight would tie the Blues’ longest road winning streak of the season at five games.
This season, the Blues are 18-10-2 away from Scottrade Center, which is the fifth-best road win percentage (.633) in the League.
Paul Stastny, who had a goal and an assist last night in Edmonton, has points in nine of 11 road games in 2015.
Jake Allen is expected to start between the pipes tonight. It will be Allen’s second career game against the Canucks.
The Blues have won the last six games that were decided in shootouts and lead the League overall with an 8-2 record in shootouts.