Blues-Mighty Ducks Preview
GAME: St. Louis Blues (33-27-10-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (26-30-9-8).
TIME: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
Back in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference, the St. Louis
Blues hope to continue their climb up the standings when they visit the Anaheim
The Blues have just one loss in their last seven games (5-1-1), and are
coming off a crucial 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
The win left the Blues and Nashville Predators tied at 80 points for the
seventh and eighth playoff spots, knocking the Kings into ninth. The Blues, who
have 10 games remaining, are four points behind the sixth-place Flames in the
Veteran Keith Tkachuk has sparked the Blues' resurgence. The 31-year-old
winger has recorded a point in six of his last seven games, including his 30th
goal of the season against the Kings on Tuesday.
The Blues won despite playing for the first time this season without
four-time All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger, who served a league-imposed
one-game suspension. Pronger was the only player to appear in each of St.
Louis' first 72 games, after missing all but five games last season because of
In Tuesday's win, Chris Osgood made 31 saves for his 300th NHL victory and
Petr Cajanek had an empty-net goal and two assists.
Anaheim snapped its four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win in overtime over
the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. Garrett Burnett and Cam Severson scored for the
Ducks, and Ilja Bryzgalov made 26 saves in his first NHL start.
"NHL games and AHL games are a bit different," Bryzgalov said. "Here you
need a little bit more concentration."
The Ducks had been outscored 15-5 during the losing streak, their longest
skid since opening the season with five losses.
Now 11 points behind the Blues and Predators for the final playoff spots,
the Ducks on the verge of becoming the first team since 1993 to fail to make
the postseason after advancing to the Stanley Cup finals the previous year.
STANDINGS: Blues - 80 points, 3rd place, 16 PB, Central Division. Mighty
Ducks - 69 points, 4th place, 19 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Tkachuk, 30 goals and 66 points; Doug Weight, 46
assists; Mike Danton, 141 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Fedorov, 26 goals, 31 assists and
57 points; Burnett, 148 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 15): Blues - Power play: 17.7 percent (55 for
310), 9th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (288 for 341), 12th. Mighty
Ducks - Power play: 16.5 percent (46 for 278), 13th. Penalty killing: 84.5
percent (261 for 309), 11th.
GOALTENDERS: Blues - Osgood (26-23-8, 2 SO, 2.29 GAA); Reinhard Divis
(4-3-1, 0, 3.09). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (15-28-5, 3, 2.62);
Martin Gerber (10-10-4, 2, 2.27; Ilya Bryzgalov 1-0-0, 0, 2.00)
SEASON SERIES: tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 16; Mighty Ducks, 4-3. At Anaheim, Steve Rucchin scored
in the first period for his 400th NHL point, then got the go-ahead tally on the
power play early in the third.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 14-17-3-2 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 17-9-6-4 at