NHL

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The St. Louis Blues have been getting stellar goaltending from Brian Elliott, but it's rookie Jake Allen's turn to be between the pipes.

Allen is expected to start Friday night as the Blues look for a seventh straight victory when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

St. Louis (23-14-2) is riding its longest win streak since a seven-game run Oct. 22-Nov. 7, 2010. The last three victories have been mainly because of Elliott, who made 23 saves for his third straight shutout in Thursday's 2-0 win at Minnesota.

The Blues' surge gives them 48 points in the crowded Western Conference standings. That's six more than ninth-place Phoenix and seven more than Columbus (17-16-7) and Dallas.

"Chemistry is that elusive animal that you try to catch up to," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When you've got it, it feels like you're never going to lose. When you don't have it, it feels like you're never going to win. ... We've got a real good spirit, and we don't want to let go of the rope."

This is the finale of a four-game trip and Hitchcock is planning to use Allen against the Blue Jackets in the second half of back-to-back games.

That move worked last Friday in the same scenario when Allen made 26 saves in a 2-1 home win over Columbus.

The Blues can sweep the season series from the Blue Jackets for the first time, also winning 2-1 on Feb. 23 and 4-1 on Jan. 31.

Captain David Backes has a team-high four points in the season series for St. Louis.

Columbus is three points behind Detroit for the West's final playoff spot. Regardless of whether the Blue Jackets reach the postseason, the franchise could finish with its best season since Hitchcock guided it to its lone playoff berth in 2008-09.

Led by Sergei Bobrovsky's 2.05 goals-against average, the low-scoring Blue Jackets acquired Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers on April 3 and feel the future is bright.

"It's great for our young players to be playing big games like this because it is at a different speed, a different intensity,'' coach Todd Richards said. "To have to play at these levels, to play against these elite teams, is a great teaching experience."

Columbus avoided a third straight loss Tuesday, as Bobrovsky made 30 saves for his fourth shutout - all coming in the last 15 games - in a 4-0 victory over San Jose.

This contest is critical for the Blue Jackets, who start a six-game trip after Friday.

"We have eight games left,'' said Gaborik, who has five points in four games with his new club. "We're going to keep fighting till the end."

Gaborik was one of four different goal scorers against the Sharks for Columbus, which totaled one goal over its two previous games.

"We want to leave everything out there every game," Gaborik said. "Hopefully we can make it interesting to the end and fight for the playoffs."

St. Louis has won 10 of the last 12 meetings overall.

Tagged: Blues, Blue Jackets, Marian Gaborik, Jake Allen

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt