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The Scouting Report: St. Louis Blues

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The St. Louis Blues are bound for the playoffs.

After upended the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Tuesday, the Blues punched their ticket in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They're heating up at the right time, too. St. Louis has seven wins in their past 10 games, including four of their past five.

Capturing a Central Division title a season ago, the Blues have playoff experience from last season to draw on to make a run this season.

SEASON SERIES

Flames Season Series Record: 1-1-0

Opening the season series a day after Valentines, the Blues trumped Calgary 5-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Leland Irving's last appearance. St. Louis managed to chase Irving just 4:07 into the game after early goals from Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund.

The Flames were able to rebound from the loss on March 24th with a 3-2 win on the strength of a pair from Roman Cervenka and a 32-save performance from Miikka Kiprusoff.

WHO'S HOT

Brian Elliott
Goalie - STL
RECORD: 12-8-1
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.903
BRIAN ELLIOTT

Despite a hiccup against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, Elliott has been phenomenal down the stretch for the Blues. The 28-year-old has won four of his last five games and seven of his last nine starts. The goaltender looks to have shaken off his slow start to the season that saw him go seven appearances without a win. His late season exploits have pushed his goals against average up to 2.41 while sporting a .903 save percentage.

WHO'S NOT

Alexander Steen
Left Wing - STL
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 19 | PTS: 26
SOG: 126 | +/-: 4
ALEXANDER STEEN

Though he's second in Blues scoring with 26 points in 38 games this season, Steen has just one assist to show for offensively in his past eight games. Over that span, the 5-foot-11, 212-pound forward has averaged upwards of 20 minutes of ice time a night. Still, Steen is closing in on his point total of 28 last season, set over 43 games.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

JAY BOUWMEESTER

For the first time in his hockey career, Bouwmeester will taste Stanley Cup Playoffs action after the Blues clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday. The former Flames defenceman has been a solid addition to a defence that also features Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo. In a dozen games since being acquired, Bouwmeester has one goal and six points while averaging approximately 23 minutes of action a night.

CHRIS STEWART

Leading St. Louis with 18 goals and 34 points this season, Stewart has been an offensive juggernaut for the Blues this season. Acquired in the deal that also brought Shattenkirk from the Avalanche in exchange for former first overall pick Erik Johnson, Stewart is making that deal look better by the goal for the Blues.

VLADIMIR TARASENKO

Tarasenko has established himself well in his first season in North America. The 21-year-old Russian has eight goals and 18 points in 36 games this year in St. Louis. Though he's seen his ice time fluctuate at times as he adjusts to the NHL, Tarasenko continues to be dangerous with his slick hands and dynamic imagination every time he has the puck.

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