Blackhawks-Blues Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 27, 2013
The St. Louis Blues' dominance this month sent them back to the playoffs, but their seeding is still undecided ahead of the regular-season finale. The top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks are the only team that's been better than the Blues in April. St. Louis attempts to gain home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs Saturday night when they try to beat the Blackhawks for just the second time in seven tries. The Blues (28-17-2) have won 11 of 14 this month after beating Calgary 4-1 on Thursday. That impressive stretch has moved them into fourth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Los Angeles and San Jose. St. Louis only holds the tiebreaker against the Sharks, who host the Kings later Saturday. Beating Chicago (36-6-5) would ensure the Blues avoid potentially dropping into sixth to face Vancouver in the opening round. However, they're 1-3-2 over the last six meetings with the Blackhawks, falling 2-0 at home in the latest matchup April 14. St. Louis has since won all five of its home games, allowing one goal in each. The Blackhawks also have been outstanding in April with a 10-1-2 record, beating the Flames 3-1 on Friday to continue a dominant season that includes the franchise's second Presidents' Trophy. "It's an important game," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the team's official website. "You move on one way or the other, but it's an important game. It's two good teams. "Chicago's arguably the best team in a long time in the league the way they've played. We're going to have to be at our best to win the hockey game. ... It's obviously more important for us than it is for them." Chicago isn't going to take it easy, either. "We want to be playing our best hockey going into the playoffs," Corey Crawford said after making 25 saves Friday. "We don't want to take anything too lightly. It's hard when you get away from your game to get it going when the playoffs come. The speed steps up." Crawford may be back in net since Ray Emery is nursing a lower-body injury. They've combined for a league-leading 2.00 goals-against average, and the Blackhawks last led the NHL defensively in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. Crawford is 6-0-1 with a 1.44 GAA over his last seven games versus the Blues and has shut them out twice this season, including the last meeting. Brian Elliott has been terrific in net for St. Louis, winning 10 of his last 12 games with a 1.30 GAA and three shutouts. He's started every time during the five-game home winning streak, compiling a 0.97 GAA since the loss to Chicago despite stopping 24 of 26 shots. The Blues last won six straight at home Dec. 6-26, 2011. Chris Stewart leads St. Louis with 18 goals and 36 points, but he's been held off the scoresheet in four meetings with the Blackhawks this season and was a minus-2 in the last matchup. Stewart has four points over his past two games.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Le'Veon Bell recently completed DUI probation

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence


Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker