David Backes, Vladimir Tarasenko and the St. Louis Blues finally had to work to prevail during this win streak.
They may not have to work as hard to score against an opponent enduring its longest road slide in franchise history.
The Blues will be heavily favored to notch a fifth straight win and hand the Edmonton Oilers a 13th straight road defeat Tuesday night.
St. Louis (26-13-3) has totaled 24 goals during this win streak which featured victories by at least five goals in the first three games before Saturday’s 5-4 shootout win over Carolina.
”It’s not always going to be pretty,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. ”It’s not always going to be easy to win.”
The red-hot Backes had two assists to give him eight points in his last three games. Tarasenko scored his 23rd goal, placing him second in the Western Conference to Dallas star Tyler Seguin.
T.J. Oshie’s point streak ended at seven games. The winger had 13 points with six goals during that stretch.
Oshie could quickly get back on track since he has back-to-back three-point efforts against the Oilers and 12 points in the last eight meetings.
St. Louis is 15-2-1 in the last 18 matchups with Edmonton (10-24-9), and has outscored the Oilers 21-7 in winning the last four. Tarasenko scored the winner in a 4-3 overtime home victory Nov. 28, in the lone meeting this season.
Edmonton starts a four-game trip as it tries to end a 0-6-6 road slide since a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Nov. 9.
This figures to be a tall task since the Blues are leading the West with 3.14 goals per game while the Oilers are allowing a conference-worst average of 3.30.
Edmonton completed a 2-2-0 homestand with Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to Florida. Taylor Hall assisted on a goal by Jordan Eberle to extend his point streak to four games in a contest in which the Oilers held a 33-27 edge in shots.
”We had some very costly errors at bad times,” Hall said. ”That was our downfall. I don’t think we played bad. I just thought there were some really key moments in the game where we didn’t do our jobs.”
Mistakes have been a theme for the Oilers, who are averaging 10.95 giveaways for the league’s second-worst mark.
St. Louis starting goalie Brian Elliott still leads the NHL with a 1.95 goals-against average even though he was pulled in the first period Saturday in favor of Jake Allen after allowing three goals on 10 shots. Elliott has never started against the Oilers at Scottrade Center.
Edmonton’s Ben Scrivens is 0-4-5 with a 3.60 GAA in nine road starts. The other option is Viktor Fasth, who is 0-8-1 with a 3.67 GAA in his last nine starts overall.
St. Louis has won nine straight with Jaden Schwartz in the lineup. Schwartz, who missed seven games Dec. 18-Jan. 2 due to a broken right foot, has 11 points in a seven-game run.
The Blues’ power play is a league-best 26.2 percent, going 7 for 14 in this win streak.