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Blues continue road trip on Long Island

by Brian Compton
BLUES (30-26-9) at ISLANDERS (26-32-8)

Last 10: St. Louis 6-4-0; New York 3-7-0.

Season Series: This is the second and final meeting between the teams. The Blues cruised to a 4-1 victory against the Isles at the Scottrade Center on Nov. 21, 2009. David Perron had two goals for St. Louis.

Big Story: Both teams are technically still alive for a playoff spot, but have some pretty big hills to climb. The Blues are six points behind Calgary in the Western Conference, while the Islanders have fallen 10 back in the East and seemed destined for another lottery pick at the NHL Entry Draft.

Team Scope:

Blues: After opening the month with back-to-back convincing victories at Phoenix and Dallas to extend their winning streak to five games, the Blues suffered a 7-3 setback at Colorado on Saturday night. Thursday's showdown marks the fourth of a six-game road trip for St. Louis.

"You definitely have to give them credit, but we didn't play up to our standard," Blues goalie Chris Mason said of the Avalanche. "They simply outworked us. We knew these guys were a hard-working team, they've been playing that way all year, so it's on us for being outworked. We got away from our game."

Islanders: Fifteen wasn't the charm for New York, which continued its ugly losing streak against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 3-2 decision at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night. The Islanders built a 2-0 lead, but, just like it has so many times this season, Scott Gordon's club failed to hang on.

"I'm not even talking about the (15) games," Gordon said. "We're a depleted squad."

Who's Hot: Blues forward Alex Steen scored two goals against the Avs on Saturday to give him 18 this season, which matches his career-high. Steen has four goals and eight points in his last four games and 30 points over his last 32 contests.

Injury Report: Blues forward Keith Tkachuk (finger) is day-to-day. … Islanders center Rob Schremp is out for the season after suffering a torn meniscus on Tuesday at Philadelphia. Radek Martinek (torn ACL) is also done for the season. Andrew MacDonald (broken foot) is out 4-6 weeks, while Trent Hunter is expected to miss at least another week with an upper-body injury. Blake Comeau is day-to-day after suffering facial lacerations last Saturday against Boston, while Rick DiPietro (knee) is once against on injured reserve.

Stat Pack: Islanders rookie John Tavares scored his first goal since Jan. 16 -- a span of 17 games -- on Tuesday at Philadelphia. The Flyers have outscored the Isles 51-25 over their 15 straight wins. They are two away from tying the NHL record for consecutive wins over one team, held by Boston, which defeated Ottawa 17 straight times from 1993-95.
Puck Drop: "It's nice to maybe have some days off. With six games on the road, it's nice to have a few days in between and be at home. Guys will get a little rest and be back on the road again." -- Blues defenseman Barret Jackman

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