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Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

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Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

GAME: St. Louis Blues (2-9-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (4-11-0).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

It has been a rough stretch for the St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The two teams with a combined 12 straight losses meet for the first time this season at Nationwide Arena.

The Blues lead the all-time series 13-4-3-1 and have won seven of the last eight meetings.

St. Louis lost a team-record eighth straight game Sunday, 4-1 to the Detroit Red Wings. Former Red Wing Mike Sillinger scored the lone goal for St. Louis.

The Blues have been outscored 38-22 during the streak, which included two overtime losses and one by shootout.

"We've had a terrible last 10 games," said Sillinger. "Tonight, we had a better effort, but we still didn't get the results."

The Blues haven't won since a 3-2 decision Oct. 19 over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

St. Louis welcomed back Doug Weight, who had an assist against the Red Wings after missing two games with post-concussion symptoms. Weight has 10 goals and 23 assists in 49 games versus the Red Wings.

Columbus returns home after failing to register a win on its four-game road trip, which ended Saturday with a 5-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

It marked just the fifth time this season that the Blue Jackets have scored at least three goals. Columbus' 28 goals scored rank it last in the league.

With emerging star Rick Nash expected to miss more than a month with a knee injury, the Jackets are looking to other players for offense.

One night after being a healthy scratch, Nikolai Zherdev scored two goals and an assist for the Blue Jackets. He had just one goal, three assists and a minus-9 rating his first 13.

The fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, Zherdev has a goal and four assists in six career games against St. Louis.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 8): Blues - 7 points, 5th place, 20 PB, Central Division. Blue Jackets - 8 points, 4th place, 19 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Jamal Mayers, 6 goals; Petr Cajanek, 12 assists and 14 points; Mayers, 27 PIM. Blue Jackets - David Vyborny, 4 goals; Bryan Berard, 9 assists and 12 points; Jody Shelley, 33 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 8): Blues - Power play: 15.9 percent (15 for 94), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.9 percent (75 for 95), 24th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 10.4 percent (10 for 96), 30th. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (92 for 110), 12th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Patrick Lalime (2-7-3, 0 SO, 3.99 GAA); Reinhard Divis (0-2-0, 0, 5.39). Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (2-8-0, 0, 3.69); Martin Prusek (2-1-0, 0, 2.10).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Blues, 5-1-1-0.

LAST MEETING: March 13, 2004; Blues, 5-3. At St. Louis, Sillinger scored twice and Keith Tkachuk netted a power-play goal at 12:37 of the third period to put St. Louis ahead for good.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 0-3-2 on the road; Blue Jackets - 3-3-0 at home.


Associated Press

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