Blues kick off season-high seven-game homestand against San Jose
The St. Louis Blues embarrassed the San Jose Sharks last weekend in ending their series losing streak.
St. Louis’ offense is still surging, but San Jose is looking to redeem itself after two narrow victories since its blowout defeat.
The Blues open a season-high seven-game homestand Thursday night against the Sharks.
St. Louis (24-13-3) averaged 2.6 goals through its first 26 games, but is scoring 3.9 per game during an 8-5-1 stretch. Its league-best power play has 17 goals on 48 chances in that span, including 6 for 14 over the last three games. The Blues scored three times on five opportunities with the man advantage in Tuesday’s 6-0 win at Arizona.
David Backes scored four goals during a 17-minute span, becoming the fifth different St. Louis player with a hat trick this season. T.J. Oshie recorded one in Saturday’s 7-2 win at San Jose.
Jaden Schwartz has scored a goal in three straight games and four of his last five. He also has three assists in his last four games. Alexander Steen has two goals and seven assists over his last four games, with three of those points coming on the power play in a Dec. 30 loss at Anaheim.
"It’s fun to be a part of," Oshie said. "It’s a balanced offense. Guys are going to get hot at different times. Lines are going to get hot at different times. We like to throw four lines at teams and when that happens, you wear guys down."
St. Louis had two goals on four power plays against the Sharks while ending a four-game skid in the series, which included a 3-2 road overtime loss on Dec. 20. Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk each had a goal and a career high-matching three assists Saturday, while Schwartz has two goals and three assists in his last three meetings.
San Jose (22-14-5) has given up six power-play goals on 16 chances over its last six games and has allowed three-plus goals in five of seven, but is seeking a fourth straight road win after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime victory at Minnesota.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored the winner 3:09 into the extra period, a night after he scored with five seconds remaining in a 3-2 win at Winnipeg.
"The St. Louis game we didn’t play. We played shinny hockey, basically," Vlasic said. "We weren’t very good. We have a day off (Wednesday) so we’ll feel refreshed and go into St. Louis where we owe them a better game."
Vlasic had scored twice in his previous 28 games before scoring in each of the last two. His three game-winners this season are one shy of his total from his previous eight seasons.
"He’s taking the shot, which is a lesson for all of us," coach Todd McLellan said. "He’s got a hot hand. Get him the puck and let him shoot it."
Joe Pavelski has three goals and three assists in his last five games versus St. Louis.
The Sharks have won three of four meetings in St. Louis.