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Blues try to get back on track in matinee vs. Senators

by Louie Korac

BLUES (12-6-1) at SENATORS (9-5-4)


Season series: The Ottawa Senators haven't defeated the St. Louis Blues in regulation since the 2009-10 season, but won twice against them last season; once in overtime and the latest game, a 5-4 victory in St. Louis on Feb. 4, when Kyle Turris scored in the fifth round of the shootout. The Senators overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit.

Blues team scope: After winning 10 of 11, the Blues have dropped two straight on a four-game trip, including a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. St. Louis has 48 goals this season, but only 15 in eight road games (1.88 goals per game). The "STL Line" accounted for the lone goal Thursday, scored by Vladimir Tarasenko, giving it 36 points in 10 games, but coach Ken Hitchcock is more concerned about defensive miscues rather than balanced scoring. "To me, unless we clean up our own end, it doesn't matter how many goals we score," Hitchcock said. "So we've got to clean up our own end to start with. … We made some mistakes on our half of the red line." Goalie Brian Elliott, selected by the Senators in the ninth round of the 2003 NHL Draft, is expected to get the start.

Senators team scope: The Senators scored three second-period goals, including what turned out to be the game-winner from Jared Cowan, to defeat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Thursday. Ottawa got 33 saves (15 in the third period) from backup goalie Robin Lehner, and the Senators overcame a rough first period. "Somebody said [the first] was the worst period we played all year, and we’re only down one," said forward Bobby Ryan, who scored the first of Ottawa's three goals. "It was kind of a positive in the intermission. Guys responded." The Senators are one of three teams in the NHL, and the only Eastern Conference team, to have one regulation loss on home ice (5-1-3). Lehner, who won both games against the Blues last season, will start Saturday according to the Ottawa Sun.

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