National Hockey League
Blues-Flames Preview
National Hockey League

Blues-Flames Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 7:50 p.m. ET

The St. Louis Blues made a big statement last week by sweeping a stretch that played out much like a mini-tournament between some of the Western Conference's best clubs.

Now they can take over sole possession of the top spot against the lowly Calgary Flames.

As Vladimir Tarasenko looks to continue his surge, visiting St. Louis will try to extend both its longest winning streak in 13 months and its run in this series to seven on Monday night.

After sweeping a difficult four-game stretch in impressive fashion, the Blues (41-20-9) hope to avoid a let down as they face the Pacific Division's three worst teams in the next six days.


St. Louis defeated playoff-hopeful Minnesota 4-2 last Sunday, beat defending champion Chicago 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday, topped Anaheim 5-2 on Friday and outlasted Dallas 5-4 in overtime on Saturday to move into a tie with the Stars for the West's best record.

The Blues, winners in 11 of 14, have totaled 24 goals during a six-game winning streak that is their longest since a seven-game run from Jan. 17-Feb. 5, 2015. Tarasenko, who has team highs of 33 goals and 61 points, has put up three and six over his last three games.

Robby Fabbri has contributed two goals and seven points during the streak, while Jaden Schwartz has five assists and six points and Kevin Shattenkirk has two goals and six points.

"It's a great week, played great, scored a lot of goals and had a lot of threats to score too," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Like I said, this is a week if you'd said we were going to go 4-0, I think everybody wouldn't have been shocked, so we're really happy, happy for the guys."

Hitchcock's squad has a couple of opportune matchups as it looks to move ahead of Dallas. The Blues will visit West co-worst Edmonton on Wednesday and 11th-place Vancouver on Saturday after going after their 12th win in 14 matchups with Calgary (28-35-5).

Alexander Steen has five goals and 12 points over his past nine meetings, but he's sidelined with an upper-body injury. Tarasenko has four goals and 10 points over a seven-game point streak in the series and captain David Backes has two and six in his last five meetings.

"We're getting something out of everyone, I think," Shattenkirk told the team's official website.

The Flames, who are allowing a league-high 3.1 goals per game, have allowed 3.7 while dropping 12 of 15. They certainly haven't fared much better against the Blues, giving up 24 goals during a series skid that dates to a 4-3 shootout home win on Dec. 23, 2013.

Defenseman Dennis Wideman returned in Friday's 4-1 loss to Arizona after an arbitrator reduced his 20-game suspension for physically abusing an official to 10 earlier in the day.

''I'm just excited to get back and get playing and help the Flames win some games here,'' he said. ''I know that this was pretty chaotic the last couple weeks and a bit of a distraction.''

Calgary, tied with Winnipeg and Edmonton with a West-worst 61 points, has gotten off to a 1-1-1 start on this six-game homestand. Mikael Backlund has been a bright spot with 10 goals over his past 18, though he's been kept out of the net in 15 meetings with the Blues.


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