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Blues-Flames Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: St. Louis Blues (17-31-9) at Calgary Flames (33-18-7).

TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EST.

The St. Louis Blues may not reach the postseason, but they can still spoil the fun for some other teams.

The Blues, the NHL's worst team for much of the season, look for their sixth win in seven games as they visit the Calgary Flames.

The Blues beat Edmonton 4-2 on Wednesday night in their first game following the Olympic break. St. Louis also beat the Oilers in a shootout Feb. 12 just before the break.

St. Louis still has the fewest points in the Western Conference, but is relishing its spoiler role even as it faces missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.

"I want to make it miserable for everybody else and hopefully knock them out of the playoffs," said Keith Tkachuk, who had a goal and an assist in Wednesday's victory. "It's sour grapes, but that's the way you have to approach it."

Scott Young had two goals and Curtis Sanford made 35 saves for St. Louis, which scored four goals on a season-low 12 shots on goal.

"We can play the spoiler," said Sanford, who has won his last five starts. "We're going to play a pivotal role in how other teams fare in the conference."

The Flames are in the midst of seven straight games at home, including five after the Olympic break. Calgary has lost only nine times in 29 home games this season, but one of those defeats came Tuesday night to Vancouver in the Flames' first game back from the break.

The 2-1 loss to the Canucks snapped a three-game winning streak and allowed Vancouver to tie Calgary atop the Northwest Division with 73 points. Third-place Colorado is just one point behind.

"I don't know if we were waiting around for the usual suspects to try and get us going or what," said Robyn Regehr, who scored Calgary's only goal. "But winning games for us is about being strong in our own zone, being physical, and having different guys step up and provide timely offense for us and that didn't happen tonight."

The Flames beat the Blues 3-2 in overtime Feb. 10, snapping a four-game home losing streak to St. Louis.

STANDINGS: Blues - 43 points, 5th place, 42 PB, Central Division. Flames - 73 points, 1st place (tied), Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Dean McAmmond, 15 goals; Petr Cajanek, 29 assists; Young, 39 points; Barret Jackman, 113 PIM. Flames - Jarome Iginla, 25 goals and 44 points; Dion Phaneuf and Andrew Ference, 23 assists; Darren McCarty, 86 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Blues - Power play: 16.1 percent (60 for 372), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (277 for 341), 19th. Flames - Power play: 18.3 percent (63 for 345), 13th. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (298 for 360), 14th.

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Sanford (11-12-4, 3 SO, 2.90 GAA); Patrick Lalime (3-11-5, 0, 3.81). Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (29-15-7, 6, 2.22); Brian Boucher (4-6-0, 0, 3.66).


LAST MEETING: Feb. 10; Flames, 3-2. At Calgary, Alberta, Phaneuf's goal 2:40 into overtime - his second of the game - sent Calgary into the Olympic break with a three-game winning streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 8-16-6 on the road; Flames - 20-6-3 at home.

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