The St. Louis Blues will seek their eighth consecutive home victory when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
The Blues extended their streak to 7-0-0 in St. Louis with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Overall they are 5-1-2 in their last eight games.
The Ducks fell 1-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, snapping their six-game (4-0-2) point streak.
“I thought we played a solid road game,” head coach Dallas Eakins said. “That’s the type of game we want to play on the road. Pittsburgh is a disciplined and well-coached team. I thought we had chances to win it, but we came up short. Those sting. We take no gratification in playing well but losing by a goal.”
The Ducks defeated the Blues 4-1 on Nov. 7 in Anaheim, but both teams are missing many players from that game.
With nine players on the injured list or in COVID-19 protocol, the Blues played six players promoted from Springfield of the AHL. They included forwards Dakota Joshua, who scored Saturday, and Logan Brown, who had two assists — giving him five points in six games.
“I think guys are playing pretty good hockey. We’re a depleted lineup and they’re battling and doing all the (right) things,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We have guys coming in and doing a good job for us, guys getting called up from Springfield. Goaltending has been good.
“We’re getting contributions from everybody.”
Top Blues goaltenders Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso are on the shelf, so Charlie Lindgren (3-0-0, 1.81 goals-against average) has taken over in the nets. The team also signed Jon Gillies to back him up.
The Blues have made life easier for their fill-ins with better defensive play during the last few games.
“Our (defense) is doing a real good job of staying tight on people in the offensive zone and the neutral zone and forcing turnovers and keeping pucks alive for us,” Berube said. “That’s a big key to our success.”
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf returned Saturday after missing five games with a lower-body injury. With him and injured forward Adam Henrique out, Anaheim relied heavily on young forwards Sonny Milano (14 points in his last 16 games) and Trevor Zegras (22 points in 27 games).
But nothing clicked against the Penguins.
“If we weren’t getting chances and not scoring, that’s a problem,” Eakins said. “If we are getting chances but aren’t scoring, we’re not going to pay a whole lot of attention to it. … On other nights they’ve gone in, so there’s no use over thinking it. There is luck in this game, and tonight it wasn’t with us.”
The Ducks also lost goaltender John Gibson to a lower-body injury during the game, prompting Anthony Stolarz to relieve him. With Gibson out, Stolarz is likely to come right back and start in goal against the Blues.
The Blues also lost forward Jordan Kyrou to an injury during Saturday night’s game. Berube had no update on his status after the game.
Tyler Bozak has come out of COVID protocols and he could rejoin the lineup if Kyrou can’t play.
–Field Level Media