TAMPA BAY - The Blues have an opportunity to return to St. Louis tonight with an impressive 3-1 record on their four-game road trip if they can secure a victory in tonight's 6 p.m. game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (FSMW, FSGO, KMOX).
And as Head Mike Coach Mike Yeo alluded to after Thursday's loss to the Florida Panthers - the Blues' first loss of the regular season - a 3-1 road trip would feel a lot better than a 2-2 road trip.
"There were parts that were good (Thursday in Florida) until we scored the first goal, then we did a nice job of beating ourselves," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "They played a great game over there, for sure, and that's a very good team. We knew we were going to need to play a strong, smart game and I didn't think we did that."
There's plenty of reason to think the Blues can bounce back tonight. Under Yeo, the Blues have been extremely successful on the road. Since Feb. 2 of last season, the Blues are 17-5-1 away from Scottrade Center, which ranks second in the League.
Dating back to last season, the Blues have points in 11 of their last 12 on the road.
"We've had a great start to the season, and we can make this a great road trip. I think everyone's got that in mind," said Blues forward Magnus Paajarvi. "It would be huge (to go 3-1 on this trip), it would give us really good confidence coming home and we could build from there. But right now, we've just got one game."
Video: Chase, Pang and Kelly preview the game in Tampa
The Lightning are off to a 3-1 start and will be looking for their third straight victory after collecting wins against the Washington Capitals on Monday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Tampa Bay's lineup still boasts offensive weapons like Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson. Chris Kunitz, who spent nine seasons with the Penguins and won three Stanley Cups, joined the Lightning in the offseason.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, a 23-year-old goaltender from Russia, has taken over in goal for Ben Bishop, who joined the Dallas Stars in the offseason.
"We've beaten some pretty good teams (on this road trip), going into New York on back-to-back games," Yeo said. "We have a chance to come in, and if we can beat this team tonight, this is a team that many - and with good reason - are picking to come out of the East or even be Stanley Cup Champions. It's a real good test for us tonight. Their speed, their skill, their ability to counter and take advantage of opportunities, it's going to be a handful."
BLUES AND BOLTS
The Tampa Bay Lightning are celebrating their 25th anniversary this season and will welcome members of the inaugural team prior to tonight's game.
That team featured several former Blues, including Rob Ramage, Adam Creighton, Basil McRae, Pat Jablonski and Terry Crisp behind the bench. Other Blues connections participating in the ceremony include Blues Director of Player Personnel Rob DiMaio and FOX Sports Midwest's John Kelly, who did play-by-play in each of the Lightning's first three seasons.
The Blues will be wearing their home jerseys for the game, while Lightning players will wear road whites. During warm-ups, the Lightning will don jerseys from their inaugural season in 1992-93.
The Blues are 4-1-0 to start the 2017-18 season, which matches their best start in franchise history.
Paul Stastny has started the season with a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists). His next point will be the 600th of his NHL career. He would become the 36th active player to reach that mark.
The Blues went 1-1 against the Lightning last season, with both teams winning their home game. The Blues are 6-1-0 in their last seven meetings with Tampa Bay and have won two of the last three at Amalie Arena.
Vladimir Tarasenko has six goals in eight career games against the Lightning.
Alex Pietrangelo has at least one point in each game this season. Dating back to last season, he has points in nine straight games (four goals, 10 assists). The Blues captain shares the League-lead in points (8) with Mike Green, Ryan Hartman, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin.
Jaden Schwartz has opened the season with seven points (two goals, five assists) through five games, which shares second overall in the League. Three of his five games have been multi-point efforts. The Blues are 117-35-5 when Schwartz scores at least one point.