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Scouting Report: St. Louis Blues

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

ST. LOUIS, MO -- Two winning streaks are on the line today when the Calgary Flames face off against the St. Louis Blues at 1:00 PM MT (SN-West, FAN 960).

The Blues have collected wins in their last two skates, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 and edging the Nashville Predators 2-1.

While St. Louis currently sits second in the central division with 19-10-4 record and 42 points, they have been somewhat inconsistent in the month of December. In their last 10 games, they are 5-4-1 and lost to teams that are much further south in the standings.

The Blues have clashed with the Flames once this season, back on Oct. 13 in Calgary. The Flames had a 2-1 lead heading into the final 40 minutes of the game but the Blues scored three second period goals and ended up leaving the Scotiabank Saddledome with a 4-3 win.

In addition to that win, St. Louis has had plenty of success against the Flames in recent years. Last year, they won all three meetings with Calgary and outscored them 12-2. However, they aren't taking the red-hot Flames lightly heading into this afternoon's affair.

"They've got their A-game going again," head coach Ken Hitchcock told StLouisBlues.com. "You knew based on their skill and speed that it would come around, especially on the back end. They've got a lot of confidence in their game, they've got a lot of transition, a lot of ability to score off the rush. I think they're one of the best teams scoring off the rush in the league."

Expect to see Brian Elliott to get the start this afternoon. The St. Louis netminder has won six straight games against Calgary, posting a 1.17 GAA, .946 save percentage and two shutouts in that span.

Record: 19-10-4

2015 vs. the Flames: 1-0-0

All-Time vs. the Flames (since relocating to Calgary): 55-56-8-2-2

Notable Injuries: Kyle Brodziak (skate cut), Steve Ott (hamstring), Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder).

Who's HOT: Vladimir Tarasenko

The Russian forward netted his 20th goal of the year on Thursday, which ties him with Jamie Benn for the league lead in goals scored. Unsurprisingly, he leads the Blues in scoring with 33 points on the year and is riding a four-game point streak in which he has four goals and six points.

"It's always good when you win. It's not always about points and goals, it's about team success," Tarasenko told StLouisBlues.com after scoring his 20th goal. "The atmosphere after wins in the locker room is unbelievable. You can't feel like this if you score a lot of goals but lose every game."

Honourable Mention: Alexander Steen

The Blues second-leading scorer played a big part in the club's last two wins, scoring one goal and four points in the victories over the Predators and Jets. Steen, a former first round pick back in 2002, has 11 goals and 30 points in 33 appearances this year.

Who's NOT: Dmitrij Jaskin

The Blues' second round pick in 2011 has been quiet offensively this year. He has one goal and six points in 29 games this year and has just one point in his last 11 skates. Jaskin is expected to play on St. Louis' third line this afternoon, skating alongside Robby Fabbri and Jori Lehtera.

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