ST. LOUIS - Perhaps its an obvious line, but if the Blues are to extend their winning streak to three consecutive games today, they’ll have to cool off the Flames.
Calgary comes to town for today’s 2 p.m. contest (FSMW, KMOX) as the hottest team in the League having won seven consecutive games. The Flames are undefeated in the month of December and are led by Johnny Gaudreau, who has not experienced even a slight sophomore slump: in his last 12 games, he has eight goals and eight assists.
“We’ve got to play our game, and make sure we dictate early on in our building,” said Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. “A team like that is coming in and having a lot of success, they’re going to try to carry the tempo. For us, it’s just establish that it’s our building, our game and go from there.’
"They've got their A-game going again," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said of the Flames. "You knew based on their skill and speed that it would come around, especially on the back end. They've got a lot of confidence in their game, they've got a lot of transition, a lot of ability to score off the rush. I think they're one of the best teams scoring off the rush in the league.”
Surprisingly, Calgary is 6-14 in games decided in regulation, while they are 9-0-2 in games decided after 60 minutes.
The Blues have won five straight games against Calgary, including a 4-3 win at the Saddledome on Oct. 13. At home, the Blues have fared even better, going 7-0-1 in their last eight meetings with the Flames at Scottrade Center.
Kyle Brodziak suffered a skate cut in the second period on Thursday vs. Nashville. He returned for the third period but did not practice with the team Friday. Hitchcock said Brodziak was “sore” and would not play tonight. Scott Gomez will take his spot on the fourth line.
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko
Magnus Paajarvi - David Backes - Troy Brouwer
Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Dmitrij Jaskin
Scottie Upshall - Scott Gomez - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Petteri Lindbohm - Kevin Shattenkirk
Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko
Brian Elliott has won six straight games against Calgary, posting a 1.17 goals-against average, .946 save-percentage and two shutouts in those contests.
The Blues have power-play goals in five consecutive games, going 6-for-11 in that span.
David Backes (four goals, three assists) and Kevin Shattenkirk (one goal, seven assists) each enter today’s game with six-game point streaks.
Ryan Reaves will play in his 300th NHL game tonight.