Posted March 12, 2012 on
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St. Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
New York Rangers
With their defense and special teams leading the way, the red-hot St. Louis Blues are nearing their first division title since 2000.
While the Blues have been superb lately, trips to Chicago usually haven't brought out their best.
St. Louis will try to add to its season-high win streak Tuesday night by snapping a five-game road skid to the Blackhawks, who likely won't have captain Jonathan Toews available.
The Blues (45-18-7) have allowed two goals or fewer in every game during a 9-1-0 stretch, the longest such streak in the NHL this season. They've given up only one in each of their five consecutive wins and killed off 47 straight penalties, including a season-high eight during a 2-1 win in Columbus on Sunday.
Jaroslav Halak made 26 of his 33 saves over the final two periods to preserve that victory, his career-best eighth in a row.
"A win is a win. It wasn't pretty," Halak said following the opener of a season-high, seven-game trip. "We didn't play our game for 60 minutes, but we were still able to come out with a big two points."
Halak's performance also helped push St. Louis six points ahead of Detroit in the Central Division and four points ahead of the New York Rangers in the race for the Presidents' Trophy. The Blues last won that trophy while claiming their most recent division title and were led by current Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.
To help its cause, St. Louis will try to end its 0-3-2 skid at the United Center and earn only its fifth win in the past 18 visits to Chicago. The Blues have given up a combined 23 goals over their past five games at the United Center against the Blackhawks, including a 3-1 loss Feb. 19.
That game also marked the last time Toews was on the ice for Chicago (37-25-8). The Blackhawks captain has missed the past 10 games with what's being called an upper-body injury but is believed to be a concussion.
He has returned to practice, although he rested Tuesday, but has not been cleared for contact.
Chicago is 5-4-1 in his absence but has won three of five. The Blackhawks just missed out on another victory Sunday when they fell 3-2 in a shootout with visiting Los Angeles.
Patrick Kane scored the tying goal with 12:24 left in regulation, but he was also the first of six players who couldn't beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick in the extra session. Viktor Stalberg also missed a penalty shot in the third period.
"We at least got a point out of it," Kane said. "You'd obviously like to win in a shootout or overtime, but it's not going to happen every time."
The Blackhawks didn't come close to earning a point during their visit to St. Louis last Tuesday. Andy McDonald scored a pair of goals in the Blues' 5-1 win, and Halak made 19 saves while improving to 3-0-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average in four starts against Chicago.
"They're on an amazing roll," Quenneville said. "It's going to be a hard game, physical game and important game for everybody."
Quenneville could start Ray Emery again for Tuesday's game as he's 3-1-0 with a 2.21 GAA in four career matchups with the Blues, but Emery also took the loss in last week's matchup.
The teams have split their four meetings this season and conclude their season series March 29 at the United Center.
BEST OF MAXIM
St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie is a vital part of a Blues penalty killing unit that has killed off 47 consecutive penalties and has helped the Blues win eleven of their last 14 games. - Photo courtesy of Getty Images The St. Louis Blues have the best defensive team in the NHL and possibly the hottest goalie in the league in Jaroslav Halak. Halak won his eighth game in a row...
ST. LOUIS St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed their first overall draft pick in 2010, Jaden Schwartz, to an entry level contract. Schwartz will join the Blues in Chicago when they visit the Blackhawks tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.
"Jaden had an excellent college career and we are excited that he is...
The Blackhawks announced on Monday morning that they had reached an agreement with injured forward Daniel Carcillo for two more years. Carcillo had 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists), 82 penalty minutes and was plus-ten rating in 28 games before a knee … Continue reading →
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed their first overall draft pick in 2010, Jaden Schwartz, to an entry level contract. Schwartz will join the Blues in Chicago when they visit the Blackhawks tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m CT.
“Jaden had an excellent college career and we are excited that he...
Lost in the St. Louis Blues incredible run and rise to the top of the NHL has been the injury issues the team has suffered throughout the season.
On Sunday, as the Blues travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for the second time in as many nights, the Blues will get back one of their injured players.
Veteran Jamie Langenbrunner, who had missed ten games of action with a...
The St. Louis Blues signed forward Jaden Schwartz to an entry level contract Monday.Schwartz was selected in the first-round by the Blues in the 2010 draft and will join the team Tuesday in Chicago for a game with the Blackhawks."It's been a dream of mine to play in the NHL and I'm excited to be able to do as a St. Louis Blue," Schwartz said.The 19-year-old is a...
David Perron broke a tie early in the third period, and Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves to help the NHL-leading St. Louis Blues beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Sunday night for their season-high fifth straight victory.
Patrik Berglund also scored for St. Louis. The Blues, coming off a 4-1 victory over Columbus on Saturday night in St. Louis, have won nine of 10 to improve to...
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews will not play against the Los Angeles Kings Sunday but is expected to return to action against the St. Louis Blues Tuesday.Toews has been recovering from a concussion and skated with the team this past week. The Blackhawks have been happy with his recovery, which has sidelined the their captain since Feb. 19. Chicago has gone 5-4 without Toews...
Game #69 (huh-uh-huh)
LA KINGS31-25-1274 pts, 11th in Western ConferencevsCHICAGO BLACKHAWKS37-25-781 pts, 6th in Western Conference
Kings Lead Season Series 2-1
5:00pm, United CenterChicago, ILNBCSN
BEST CURRENT BLACKHAWK TO PLAY FOR THE KINGS IN 1994:
BEST OPPOSITION BLOGS:Blackhawks Down LowHockeenightSecond City HockeyCheer the Anthem
Have you taken a look at the...
Notrious wannabe bad boy Daniel Carcillo was given a two-year contract extension on Monday, this coming after a injury in January that put him out for the season.
Carcillo was suspended twice this season, including for the hit in which he injured himself. He will be paid an average of $825,000 per year, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Patrick Kane had the only score in a shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat NHL-leading St. Louis 4-3 Tuesday night, ending the Blues' five-game winning streak.
Kane was the first skater and made a nice fake before beating Jaroslav Halak. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, who entered the game in the second period after starter Ray Emery was pulled, stopped T.J. Oshie, Andy McDonald...
Daniel Carcillo was signed to a two year extension at an average of $825,000 per year as reported by Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. Carcillo, 27, is currently on the mend recovering from surgery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on his questionable hit on the Edmonton Oilers and now [...]
CHICAGO (AP) -- Patrick Kane had the only score in a shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat NHL-leading St. Louis 4-3 Tuesday night, ending the Blues' five-game winning streak.
Kane was the first skater and made a nice fake before beating Jaroslav Halak. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, who entered the game in the second period after starter Ray Emery was pulled, stopped T.J...
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated, As the red numbers hit 9:00 on the digital wall clock that counts down to the opening face-off against the Blackhawks on March 6, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, trailed by his assistants, enters the dressing room. He issues reminders (“Don’t get [caught] stickhandling and making ‘hope-for’ plays”) and ticks off the Chicago starters...