Oilers-Blues Preview

Oilers-Blues Preview

Published Jan. 19, 2012 8:15 a.m. ET

The St. Louis Blues have set a single-season club record by earning at least one point in 13 straight home games.

The streak was put in serious jeopardy two weeks ago by an unlikely opponent.

Although the surging Blues have as many victories since New Year's Day as Edmonton has since Thanksgiving, St. Louis probably won't be overlooking the Oilers on Thursday night after needing a third-period rally to win the last meeting.

The Blues (27-12-6) have been off since Monday's 1-0 win over Dallas, the middle contest of a five-game homestand. T.J. Oshie scored his 14th goal - tying him with David Backes for the team lead - at 11:26 of the third period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots for his second shutout in three starts.

After losing its final three games of 2011, St. Louis has earned 13 out of a possible 14 points this month (6-0-1) and is one of five teams with at least 60.

"Getting into the 60s is good," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "If we can quickly plow a way and get through the 70s now, there's light at the end of the tunnel. For me, it's about the points."

St. Louis has had no trouble piling up points at home.

The Blues have the NHL's second-best home record at 19-3-3, and are 11-0-2 at the Scottrade Center since Dec. 6. Despite that home-ice dominance, Edmonton (17-24-4) had St. Louis on the ropes there Jan. 5.

The Oilers led 3-1 after 40 minutes before Backes, Alex Pietrangelo and Matt D'Agostini scored third-period goals to lift St. Louis to a 4-3 victory. It was the Blues' fourth straight home win over Edmonton and helped them improve to 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings.

Although the Oilers nearly stunned St. Louis earlier this month, they could be without two of the players that scored goals in that game.

Jordan Eberle, who leads Edmonton with 17 goals, is still nursing a right knee injury sustained Jan. 7 and Taylor Hall could sit out another game after getting cut above his eye prior to Tuesday's 4-2 loss at Columbus. Hall, who has 15 goals, collided with a teammate and fell on another teammate's skate during warm-ups.

"This is one of those fluky things," coach Tom Renney said. "It just happens. Not much we can do about it."

The Oilers, 1-11-0 in their last 12 road games and 6-16-2 overall since Nov. 23, are already without rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who has 13 goals and 35 points.

Missing three of their top four goal scorers doesn't bode well against a St. Louis team that allows 1.98 goals per game - tied for the best in the NHL - and leads the league with eight shutouts.

All-Star goaltender Brian Elliott agreed to a two-year, $3.6 million contract extension Wednesday, but Halak is expected to get the call against the Oilers.

Halak has posted a 1.18 GAA in winning his five starts this month, and is 9-0-3 with a 1.62 GAA overall since Nov. 29. He stopped 29 shots against the Oilers two weeks ago, and is 3-1-1 with a 2.57 GAA and a shutout lifetime against them.

Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk, who has started the last two games, stopped 33 shots in the loss to St. Louis, and is 2-2-0 with a 2.73 GAA in four starts this month.

Nikolai Khabibulin is 0-5-1 with a 4.09 GAA in his last six games, but is 6-1-2 with a 2.52 GAA in his last nine starts versus the Blues.