Tonight is a big night for the Blues, not only because David Backes will return to Scottrade Center for the first time, but also because it marks the end of a six-game, 19-day homestand, as well as the beginning of a stretch that will see the team play 21 of their next 34 games on the road. The Blues nipped the Bruins 4-2 back on Nov. 22 at TD Garden. Backes showed well for the Bruins in that outing, scoring a power-play goal and registering six shots. St. Louis has won three of their last four against Boston and two of the last three at Scottrade Center. Following tonight's game, the team will head west for a three-game swing through California (LA, SJS, ANA) to begin the toughest and most critical stretch of the 2016-17 regular season schedule.
What to Watch
David Backes' return should be emotional, not only for the former Blues captain, but for the Scottrade Center faithful. The Blues plan to honor Backes with a tribute video that should draw the usual outpour of appreciation from Blues fans. On the Blues side, Vladimir Tarasenko, who is riding a season-best three-game goal streak, will appear in his 300th game tonight while Alexander Steen will look to improve on his three-game point streak. A point tonight and Steen could match his longest streak of the season, while the Blues could improve on their 12-3-2 record when Steen finds the point sheet this season.
- Patrik Berglund will dress in game No. 596 tonight, passing Jamal Mayers for seventh among forwards and 12th overall in Blues history
- Jori Lehtera - 2 shy of 100 career PIM
- Kyle Brodziak - 5 shy of 400 career PIM
- Jaden Schwartz - 4 shy of 100 career assists
- Joel Edmundson - 7 shy of 100 career PIM
- Patrik Berglund - 4 shy of 200 career PIM
- The Blues have posted 12 steals in each of their last two games and lead the NHL with a 1.36 takeaway to giveaway ratio
- David Backes' 30 goal - 30 assist - +30 season in 2010-11 is the only one of its kind in Blues history
- Since the beginning of December, only Vladimir Tarasenko (10) has more goals than Patrik Berglund (6)
- From Oct. - Dec., the Blues ranked 19th overall with a -6 goal differential while they share 6th-best with a +2 mark in 2017
50th Anniversary Throwback Note
On this day in 1960, two and a half months after Jacques Plante made history by becoming the first NHL goalie to permanently wear a mask, Boston's Don Simmons became the second to do so, as he led the Bruins to a 4-0 win (his 13th career shutout) over Toronto.