GAME: St. Louis Blues (36-28-11-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (20-39-11-7).
TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.
The St. Louis Blues have been playing playoff-type games for weeks.
The Blues will look to continue their drive toward the postseason when they
take on the lowly Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.
Locked in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Western Conference, the
Blues have won two straight and are 7-3-3 in March to move within a few more
victories of their 25th straight playoff appearance.
St. Louis is tied with Nashville and Edmonton, but the Blues have a game in
hand on each with five to play. The Oilers hosts Phoenix on Sunday, while the
Predators are idle.
In the front end of this home-and-home set, Bryce Salvador earned St. Louis
two points with a goal 1:50 into overtime as the Blues edged the Blackhawks 4-3
"That was a huge point for us to get, that extra point," said Scott
Mellanby, who scored the Blues' first goal. "Unfortunately it took overtime
but we got it, we found a way to get it."
The Blues, who squandered a 3-1 second-period lead, earned their 11th
overtime victory of the season, tying the NHL record set by Calgary in 1999-00.
"We were going for it," Salvador said. "We weren't really worrying about
losing the game. We needed to gamble and we came through."
Chicago, which is last in the Western Conference with 58 points, had lost
just three of its previous 14 meetings with St. Louis (8-3-3).
The Blackhawks are winless in four overall (0-1-2-1) and have won just two
of their last 15 (2-7-4-2).
Chicago got goals from Matt Keith, Tuomo Ruutu and Deron Quint on Saturday.
"We were a little short-handed in some areas," Blackhawks coach Brian
Sutter said. "But hey, we didn't go away. We battled hard to get the point we
Goalie Jocelyn Thibault made his first appearance since Nov. 7 following
right hip surgery and made 25 saves.
STANDINGS: Blues - 85 points, 2nd place (tied), 18 PB, Central Division.
Blackhawks - 58 points, 5th place, 45 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Keith Tkachuk, 32 goals and 69 points; Doug Weight, 47
assists; Mike Danton, 141 PIM. Blackhawks - Tyler Arnason, 22 goals, and 53
points; Arnason and Bryan Berard, 31 assists, Travis Moen, 131 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 26): Blues - Power play: 17.8 percent (57 for
320), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (295 for 350), 15th. Blackhawks
- Power play: 15.6 percent (52 for 333), 20th. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent
(298 for 353), 13th.
GOALTENDERS: Blues - Chris Osgood (28-24-8, 2 SO, 2.31 GAA); Reinhard Divis
(4-3-2, 0, 2.84). Blackhawks - Thibault (5-4-2, 1, 2.42); Michael Leighton
(6-18-8, 2, 2.99).
SEASON SERIES: Blackhawks, 3-2.
LAST MEETING: Saturday; Blues, 4-3, OT. At St. Louis, Tkachuk had a goal and
an assist, and Weight had his 600th career assist for the Blues.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 14-18-4-2 on the road; Blackhawks - 13-15-6-5 at