RALEIGH - Let's talk about Alex Pietrangelo for a second.
The Blues' captain leads all defenseman in the League with 12 points (four goals, eight assists).
Dating back to the regular season last year, he has points in 12 of his last 14 regular season games (six goals, 12 assists).
There are three games remaining in the month of October, yet Pietrangelo has already set a career-high for points in this month.
It's early - very early, in fact. But this is the stuff Norris Trophy candidates are made of.
"He's been our leader on and off the ice so far. This is the best hockey I think he's played since I've been with him," said Joel Edmundson, who has been playing alongside Pietrangelo recently. "He puts in the work off the ice. All the guys respect him, so it's nice to see him succeed."
Video: Pietrangelo on why he's started the season hot
"That's just him," added Colton Parayko. "He's an elite defenseman, an elite player. That's what you get out of a player like that."
"I'm just shooting the puck. Just when I get an opportunity to get to the net, I'm shooting the puck," Pietrangelo said. "Sometimes I defer more than I should, but it seems like I'm getting some good bounces right now. When the offense is clicking, it's making life easier."
Pietrangelo scored the game-winning goal for the Blues on Wednesday in their 5-2 victory against the Flames. That was his second game-winning goal of the season.
"If you look at our shot totals or the attempts that we're taking, we like to create offense and get pucks towards the net," Pietrangelo said of the team's defensemen. "It's good to contribute."
Video: Edmundson on Pietrangelo's hot start
The Blues (7-2-1) earned a convincing 5-2 win Wednesday night against the Flames to remain undefeated at Scottrade Center. Alexander Steen had a goal and three assists to record the sixth four-point game of his career, and Jaden Schwartz added his seventh goal of the season. Jake Allen made 23 saves on 25 shots in the win.
The Hurricanes earned a convincing win themselves on Thursday night, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on the road. Carolina flew back home after the game and will be facing the Blues, who are more well-rested. The Hurricanes sit just one point back of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3-1 record (9 points).
The Blues are 2-2-0 against Carolina over the last two seasons. St. Louis won both road games at PNC Arena, while the Hurricanes won both at Scottrade Center. The Blues have won three straight at PNC Arena entering tonight's game, including two via shootout.
Since Mike Yeo took over as head coach, the Blues are 12-5-0 against Eastern Conference teams for a .706 win percentage, which ranks fourth in the NHL.
Video: Levi joins Blues Gameday Live in Carolina
HOT VS. CAROLINA
- Vladimir Tarasenko has three points in his last two games against the Hurricanes.
- Pietrangelo has 10 points in 12 career games against Carolina (two goals, eight assists).
- Alexander Steen has 16 points in 22 career games against the Hurricanes.
- Jaden Schwartz scored his seventh goal of the season in Wednesday's win against Calgary. Schwartz has points in five straight games (five goals, two assists) and now has 14 points on the season, which ranks third in the NHL.
- The Blues lead the League with 12 goals from defensemen.
- Carter Hutton will start in goal and is 10-2-0 in his last 12 road starts with a 1.44 goals-against average, a .952 save-percentage and four shutouts.