New York Islanders (32-23-11) at St. Louis Blues (34-27-5)
8 PM ET, Scottrade Center
Radio: AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News
Game Notes Morning Skate Updates
For the New York Islanders, the Gateway to the West will be their gateway home.
The Islanders wrap up a nine-game road trip in St. Louis on Saturday night, concluding their marathon trip against the Blues.
It's been a successful trip for the Islanders, who are 5-2-1 through the first eight games. A 4-3 OT win in Vancouver assured the Isles of finishing over .500 on the trip.
The grind of travelling across the continent is admittedly wearing on the Isles, who were upfront about not playing their best game on Thursday night, despite finding a way to win in Vancouver.
Video: Lee's two goals helps Isles beat the Blues 3-2
Isles vs. Blues:
The Islanders look to sweep the season series from the Blues for a second straight year after beating the Blues 3-2 on Dec. 8. Overall, the Isles have won three straight against St. Louis, including an early season OT win in Missouri last season.
Josh Bailey is one point shy of 300 for his career (105G, 194A). Bailey dished out three assists on Thursday night and has five assists in his last three games. The 27-year-old has already set career-highs for assists (37) and points (49) and is four goals of his career pace.
Mayfield Returns Home:
UPDATE: Mayfield will play on Saturday night
One Islander excited about the trip to St. Louis is native son Scott Mayfield. Mayfield played for the St. Louis Amateur Blues U18 squad as a 16-year-old before joining the Youngstown Phantoms. If Mayfield draws back into the lineup - he's been a healthy scratch for two straight games - it would mark his first NHL game in his hometown.
St. Louis Scrapping For Playoffs:
After five straight years of finishing first or second in the Central Division (with four 100+ point seasons) the St. Louis Blues (73 points) find themselves fighting for the second wild card seed.
The Blues are currently three points ahead of the LA Kings for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. St. Louis is two points back of the Nashville Predators with a game in hand, so they could conceivably get into third in the Central Division, but have a ceiling of 95 points.
St. Louis has won three straight and is coming off a 4-3 win over Anaheim on Friday night.
St Louis made headlines at the NHL trade deadline, shipping defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to Washington. Shattenkirk was a steady offensive presence on the St. Louis blue line, racking up five, 40-point seasons for the Blues. Shattenkirk had 42 points at the time of his departure, including 20 power-play points.
Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with 30 goals and 59 points. The Blues have the NHL's sixth-ranked power play (21.9%) and the seventh-ranked penalty kill (83.7%).