St. Louis ended its longest skid of the season its last time out and the Blues will try to keep heading in the right direction when they host the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Scottrade Center.
The Blues lost their final three games of the 2011 calendar year and the 0-2-1 stretch marked the club's longest slide this season. However, before the streak reached four straight losses, St. Louis was able to record Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. The victory marked the start of a three-game homestand and improved St. Louis' record as the host this year to an 15-3-2.
Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves and Jamie Langenbrunner recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Blues to the win over the Coyotes. Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart and T.J. Oshie also tallied for the Blues, while Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron notched two assists apiece.
"I like the way we competed, two hard-working hockey clubs," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We took away their speed and our game looked organized again."
Blues defenseman Ian Cole will serve the second portion of a three-game suspension tonight. Cole earned the ban for an illegal hit on Detroit's Justin Abdelkader on Saturday. St. Louis forward Alex Steen is expected to sit out a fourth straight game with concussion-like symptoms.
St. Louis, which is fifth in the West standings with 49 points, will complete its homestand Saturday against Colorado.
The Oilers enter tonight having lost four of five and eight of their last 10 games and are seeded 13th out of 15 teams in the West.
Edmonton ended a three-game slide with Monday's 4-3 win in Chicago, but then fell to 1-4 on a seven-game road trip after losing the following night in Buffalo. The Oilers are just 6-14-1 overall as the visiting team this season.
Drew Stafford scored and added a pair of assists to lead the Sabres to Tuesday's 4-3 decision at First Niagara Center. Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Corey Potter scored, while Ales Hemsky chipped in with two assists for the Oilers. Nikolai Khabibulin was tagged for all four goals on 33 shots in defeat.
"I thought we gave Buffalo everything they could handle," Oilers head coach Tom Renney said. "It was a winnable game for us. Obviously we didn't, but I thought we played well. I'd like to see a bit more traffic at the net, but I thought we played a very organized game."
Edmonton played without star rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who missed the game with a shoulder injury suffered Monday in Chicago. Nugent-Hopkins, who leads all NHL rookies with 35 points, is expected to miss tonight's test as well.
Edmonton recorded a 4-2 home win over the Blues on Oct. 30 in the only meeting between the clubs this season. That win ended a three-game series' slide for the Oilers and was just their second victory in the last eight meetings with St. Louis. The Blues have taken three straight encounters in the Gateway City.