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Blues have shown winning ways on road

St. Louis faring better away from home in playoffs; visit San Jose, SAP Center for Game 3

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- History shows when a team wins the Stanley Cup, they normally have a strong winning percentage on home ice.

The St. Louis Blues are trying to be an exception; they have had greater success away from Scottrade Center.

After a 4-0 home loss to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Final to even the best-of-7 series 1-1, the Blues once again put the onus on their ability to perform well on the road. They had success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center and American Airlines Center, against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and Dallas Stars in the second round, respectively.

The Blues, who are 5-2 on the road in the playoffs, look to build on that success in Game 3 at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Video: STL@DAL, Gm7: Elliott extends pad for toe save

St. Louis had a .605 winning percentage during the regular season on home ice but a .654 winning percentage on the road, which was 25th in the NHL according to sportingcharts.com.

It wasn't a poor home winning percentage for the Blues, who were 24-13-4 at Scottrade Center, but the 24 wins are their fewest in a non-lockout season since winning 23 in 2010-11, the last time St. Louis missed the playoffs.

However, the five home playoff losses are the most in franchise history. The Blues lost four in 1968, their inaugural season.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was asked Wednesday if he was happy to get out of town.

"I don't know about that; I'll tell you when we get back," Hitchcock said before the Blues departed for San Jose. "I think it's really gone on with us all year. Some teams you have like that. That was San Jose too for a lot of the year until the playoffs really, they struggled at home, too.

"I think we all know what it is. It's almost like you don't want to talk about it after a while because you know what it is and you see it so much, but we haven't been able to solve it all year on a consistent basis. We're just going to have to deal with it. We've had good success dealing with it in the playoffs and we're probably going to have to have it again."

The Blues said they play a simpler game on the road.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm7: Fabbri lifts backhander past Lehtonen

"It's tough to explain," Blues rookie left wing Robby Fabbri said. "You go into a game with everyone wanting to be doing what we've been doing all playoffs and when it doesn't happen, it's maybe a little frustration throughout the game. I don't know."

More so than looking to have a good showing on the road, the Blues have prided themselves on having good bounce-back games.

"We've always kind of bounced back pretty good throughout the year when we've battled adversity or we've had a challenge come our way," Blues center Paul Stastny said. 'I think we kind of forget about that game [Tuesday] and we look forward to Game 3.

"We always have confidence, home or on the road. The NHL is one of the few sports where I don't think home ice is as big as it is in basketball or European soccer, different things like that. So to me before the playoffs started, you're confident where you are out there. Sometimes it's a little easier playing on the road because there's no distractions. It's just 23, 24, 25 guys against everyone else. You've really got to come together and play as a team."

That's also what Hitchcock expects.

"It's a 1-1 series, probably where it deserves to be," Hitchcock said. "We've got to go win a road game again. This is familiar ground for us. We've been here before, got a real significant opponent. I think the obligation is mostly on us. We've got to amp up our game, get back to where we were before. I think we had a real good meeting today and I think we're going to put our best games out there now.

"We were very much in fits and starts [in Game 2]. We were good early, not good in the second again. We didn't have a good reaction to what was going on on the ice. We got dealt some of our own medicine. We'll be much better [Thursday]."

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