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Preview: Blues at Avalanche

by Chris Pinkert / Notes by Brett Barczewski

BLUES AT AVALANCHE

When: Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. CT
Watch: FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports App
Listen: KMOX 1120 AM, NHL App

 

TEAM SNAPSHOTS

BLUES Down 3-0 against the Red Wings in the second period on Wednesday, the Blues battled back and tied the game on two goals from David Perron and another from Vladimir Tarasenko, but a goal from Tyler Bertuzzi with 6:53 left in the third would keep the Blues from completing the comeback.

It was a frustrating night for St. Louis, who has underachieved in the first portion of the season but maintains its high expectations this season. Blues Head Coach Craig Berube stressed the importance of getting the club's confidence back, saying even the most accomplished players can "lose confidence just like anyone else."

"You just gotta keep working at it, you've got to keep going," Berube said. "We've got to look at lot of good stuff we do, show it, teach it, keep working. When we practice, practice it. We'll get that (confidence) feeling back. We got it too late in the game (Wednesday). We were right there (for parts of the second and third period). You can't play the first period the way we played it, which carried over to the second."

Alexander Steen returned after missing six games with an injury on Wednesday. Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who last played Oct. 20, will return to the lineup against Colorado.

Video: Blues on getting Bortuzzo back in the lineup

AVALANCHE Samuel Girard, Erik Johnson and Colin Wilson gave the Colorado Avalanche a 3-0 lead at Pepsi Center on Wednesday, but Sidney Crosby scored a natural hat trick to pull the Penguins into a 3-3 tie.

The Avalanche wouldn't roll over, though. Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg scored third period goals to lift Colorado a 6-3 win.

"Our belief and our commitment have been really good and I think it's growing," Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar told NHL.com. "Hopefully we can continue with that. If we keep playing the way we're playing and defending the way we're defending we're going to have success."

The Avalanche have won six straight games and are 8-0-1 in their last nine, which has lifted them to second place in the Western Conference with 34 points, just one behind first-place Nashville.

Mikko Rantanen (42 points) and Nathan MacKinnon (41 points) ranked first and second in the League in points before Friday's games.

HEAD-TO-HEAD Friday's game marks the first of four matchups between the Blues and Avalanche this season. The Blues were 3-2-0 against Colorado last season but have lost the last two meetings. Before that, the Blues had points in 12 straight games (9-0-3).

The Blues are 4-1-3 in their last eight games at Pepsi Center.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, only Nashville has more wins against Colorado than the Blues.

Video: Vitale, Kelly preview Blues / Avs


THEY SAID IT

Craig Berube
On Blues having 21 missed shots vs. Detroit
"We talked about it today, (watched) video, things like that… We're getting good lucks, but when you miss the net, nothing happens out of it. We're doing a better job of shot attempts, they're coming up, which is good. But missing the net is not good. It's just about getting it there. I think guys are trying to score on every shot and shoot so hard it misses the net and breaks the other team out. It's just about getting it to the net. That's how you're going to get goals… (They're) squeezing the sticks a little bit, too."


BLUE NOTES

Ryan O'Reilly was drafted No. 33 overall by the Avalanche in 2009 and spent his first six seasons in Colorado, posting 246 points (90 goals, 156 assists) in 427 games. O'Reilly has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in six career games against the Avalanche… Alexander Steen is expected to dress in his 663rd game as a Blue, which ranks seventh on the Blues' all-time franchise list. Garry Unger played in 662 games with the Blues… Jake Allen is 4-2-1 with a 1.72 goals-against average, a .941 save-percentage and one shutout in his last seven starts against Colorado.

Video: Blues gear up for tonight's game against Avalanche

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