Issues at home continue to plague the St. Louis Blues.
Meanwhile, some offensive inconsistency and defensive struggles have highlighted the Ottawa Senators’ current rut.
The Blues will try to avoid a third consecutive loss — overall and at home — when they face the Senators on Monday night.
A big reason St. Louis is currently on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff picture is its 8-10-2 home record. Entering play Sunday, the Blues were tied for the third-fewest home victories in the NHL.
They’ve dropped three of the last four there, including the last two — 4-1 to Calgary on Thursday and 4-2 versus Tampa Bay on Saturday.
“Our home record’s not been good. It hasn’t been good all season,” St. Louis forward Robert Thomas told reporters.
“We need to be more urgent and win at home.”
The Blues, who continue to play with key contributors Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) and Ryan O’Reilly (foot) on injured reserve, rank 21st in the NHL in averaging 3.09 goals per contest. However, they could be in store for an offensive breakout Monday.
Ottawa has been outscored 21-9 during its current 1-3-0 stretch and was routed 7-0 at Colorado on Saturday. It marked the second time in three games that the Senators were shut out.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk, who has totaled four of his team-leading 41 points in the last seven contests. “I’m kind of at a loss for words right now. I wouldn’t even say we were looking for answers.
“That can never happen.”
Like St. Louis, Ottawa has also struggled to score, averaging 2.95 goals overall on the season (25th in the league). However, the team’s defensive issues might be more of a concern at the moment. Losing defenseman Artem Zub to a lower-body injury also does not help the Senators’ cause.
Anton Forsberg yielded all seven goals on 33 shots faced against the Avalanche. He’s given up 13 goals over his last three starts. Meanwhile, teammate Cam Talbot has a 4.47 goals-against average in losing his past three starts.
St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington made 26 saves against the Lightning and has a 3.99 goals-against average while splitting his last six starts. Backup Thomas Greiss has split his last four starts, but he owns a 2.26 goals-against average during that stretch and recorded a 35-save shutout at Minnesota on Jan. 8.
The Blues’ Pavel Buchnevich scored his 15th goal of the season on Saturday. He’s posted six of those goals and nine assists during his last 12 home contests. Thomas assisted on that goal and has four points in the last four at home for St. Louis.
Ottawa’s Tim Stutzle recorded eight goals and four assists during a seven-game point streak from Dec. 22-Jan. 7. However, he’s gone without a point in the three games since that run.
The Blues have won six of the last eight meetings with Ottawa. The Senators, though, got a goal apiece from Stutzle and Tkachuk during their 4-1 victory on March 8, 2022, in the most recent matchup at St. Louis.
–Field Level Media