Blues set for Saturday night showdown with Rangersby Chris Pinkert / Notes by Brett Barczewski
ST. LOUIS - Three of the Blues' next four games will be at home starting with Saturday's 7 p.m. game against the New York Rangers (FSMW, FSGO, KMOX).
BLUES The Blues fired 45 shots on goal and had perhaps more than 20 Grade-A scoring chances, but Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov turned aside all but one on Thursday to hand the Blues a 4-1 loss at Scottrade Center.
The game snapped a two-game winning streak for the Blues and bumped them to four points out of a playoff spot with 12 games to go.
Despite the loss, the Blues were very happy with the effort they put forth.
"We're showing that we've got fight in our room right now," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said after the game. "Obviously this is a disappointing one. Whether you look at the shot attempts, whether you look some of the play, you can see that guys care. I know you don't get points for that, but what it does is gives me confidence that this is a group that's going to be ready to respond.
"I really do believe that if we play a similar type game (against the Rangers), then we'll like the result. That's what our focus has to be."
Video: Blues Gameday Live for March 17
RANGERS The New York Rangers erased a two-goal deficit in the third period, then fell behind to Pittsburgh with less than five minutes to go on Wednesday before Mike Zibanejad forced overtime with a game-tying goal with 3:17 left.
Zibanejad scored again in overtime to complete the comeback for a 4-3 OT win, helping the Rangers to their first victory over a team in a playoff position since Feb. 11.
"We're battling," Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault told NHL.com after the game. "We're competing."
As of Friday afternoon, the Rangers were nine points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Kevin Shattenkirk, who signed a four-year contract with the Rangers last summer as a free agent, is not expected to make the trip to St. Louis. He has been out since January after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
HEAD-TO-HEAD The Blues won the previous matchup between the teams way back on Oct. 10 at Madison Square Garden (3-1). The Blues and Rangers split the season series last year, with each team winning at home.
The Blues are 18-9-1 against teams from the Eastern Conference this season, including an 8-4-1 mark against teams from the Metropolitan Division.
Video: Blues battle Rangers on Saturday
HOT VS. NEW YORK
- Brayden Schenn has a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist)
- Jaden Schwartz has five points in his last six games (two goals, three assists)
- Alex Pietrangelo has four points in his last seven games (one goal, three assists)
- Vladimir Tarasenko has seven points in nine career games (four goals, three assists)
- Joel Edmundson extended his career high in goals (7) and points (16) with a goal Thursday in his return to the lineup.
- Colton Parayko has four points in his last six games (one goal, three assists). Parayko is just two points shy of tying his career high of 35 points set last season.
- The Blues have 39 goals from defensemen this season, which ranks fourth in the NHL.
- The Blues will wear their road jerseys for Saturday's game at Scottrade Center. In addition, the Blues will wear St. Patrick's Day themed jerseys during warm-ups, which will be auctioned online at blues.gesture.com.