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Preview: Blues at Avalanche

by Chris Pinkert / Notes by Brett Barczewski

BLUES AT AVALANCHE

When: Thursday, Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m. CT
Watch: NBC Sports Network, NBC Sports App
Listen: 101 ESPN, NHL App

A meeting of two of the top teams in the Western Conference is on the schedule to kick off 2020.

 

THE MATCHUP

BLUES The St. Louis Blues saw their eight-game winning streak end on Tuesday night in the final game of 2019. Tyler Bozak scored but that was the only goal the Blues would get against the Arizona Coyotes, falling 3-1 at Gila River Arena.

"In the last little stretch we've had a good run, we've won eight in a row and you're not going to win them all," said Blues goalie Jake Allen, who made 23 saves against the Coyotes. "We're ready to jump on to Colorado on Thursday, just take a breather tonight and get back to it."

Despite the loss, it was a record-setting year for the Blues. They went 56-19-11 and recorded 123 points in 2019 - which matches a franchise record for wins in a calendar year and set a record for points. Obviously, the club also captured its first Stanley Cup championship and hasn't shown really any sort of championship hangover - the club is first in the Western Conference (58 points) and just one point behind the Washington Capitals for first overall in the League.

AVALANCHE The Colorado Avalanche dropped a 7-4 decision to the Winnipeg Jets on New Year's Eve at Pepsi Center. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves for the Avalanche.

Colorado is 0-2-1 in their last three games and have lost four of their last six (1-4-1).

"We keep shooting (ourselves) in our own leg," Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen told NHL.com. "We do mistakes on our own, you know? It's costing us right now, so we have to figure it out. It's a tough division, tough conference and we can't keep dropping these points."

"We're finding different ways to lose every night lately and it's frustrating," added Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson. "So we got to figure our way out of it now."

HEAD-TO-HEAD Thursday's meeting will be the third between the Blues and Avalanche in the 2019-20 season. The Blues are 2-0 against the Avalanche this season and have won six straight against Colorado.

The Blues are 9-2-3 in their last 14 games at Pepsi Center.

Video: Blues on facing Avalanche


HOT VS. COLORADO

- Jaden Schwartz has a six-game point streak (three goals, four assists)

- David Perron has a three-game point streak (four goals, one assist)

- Ryan O'Reilly has 11 points in his last eight games (two goals, nine assists)

- Colton Parayko has four points in his last six games (two goals, one assist)


BLUE NOTES

The Blues are 18-0-4 when scoring first but 8-9-2 when allowing the first goal… The Blues are in the midst of 12 straight games against Western Conference opponents. Through nine of those games, St. Louis is 8-1-0.

Video: Vitale, Kerber preview Blues / Avs

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