Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Hockey

Blues attempt to pad home mark against Oilers

A club-record point streak at home has helped the luck Oilers coming to town.

St. Louis, 11-0-2 in its past 13 games at home, looks for a fifth straight victory at Scottrade Center over an Edmonton club that was without its top three forwards and several key defensemen last time out.

The Blues haven't lost at home in regulation since Dec. 3 and play the fourth contest of a five-game homestand tonight. Their current string of 13 straight games at home with a point is a single-season club record and a 19-3-3 overall mark as the host has helped the Blues stay within two points of the Blackhawks for the top spot in the conference and Central Division.

St. Louis struggled on offense last time out, but thanks to 22 saves from Jaroslav Halak it recorded its third shutout of the month with a 1-0 decision over Dallas. The Blues lead the league with eight whitewashes this season.

T.J. Oshie made sure that the Blues didn't waste Halak's effort when he scored with 8:34 left in the third period as St. Louis improved to 6-0-1 in its past seven games. Halak, who blanked his former Montreal club last Tuesday, recorded his third shutout of the season, while fellow netminder and All-Star Brian Elliott is tied for second in the NHL with five shutouts.

Halak has also played like an All-Star as of late. He hasn't suffered a regulation loss since Nov. 22, going 9-0-3 in his past 12 starts.

"Guys are scoring big goals for me. ... it's all timing. Sometimes I need to make a key save for them to keep the score tight and they come up big for me," said Halak.

St. Louis is 7-1-1 in its past nine meetings with Edmonton and that includes a 4-3 home win on Jan. 5 that extended the Blues' current home winning streak in this series. Halak made 29 saves to key the win.

Edmonton got goals from Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, but both players missed the club's last game on Tuesday. Rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) and Eberle (knee) haven't played since Jan. 2 and 7, respectively, while Hall missed Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Blue Jackets after suffering a freak injury during the pregame skate.

The first-overall pick of the 2010 draft fell into the boards during the warmup and unsuspecting teammate Corey Potter tried to leap over the forward, but instead had his skate come down on Hall's head. The youngster suffered a nasty cut to his forehead, but the blade fortunately missed his eye.

Oilers head coach Tom Renney said he never saw a warmup injury as significant as the one to Hall

"This is one of those fluky things, it just happens," added Renney. "Not much we can do about it."

Edmonton didn't seem to be too impacted by Hall's absence early on, getting first period goals from Anton Lander and Ben Eager. However, Columbus netted a pair of goals in the second and third frame to deal the Oilers their 13th loss in 16 games overall and 11th in their past 12 on the road.

Devan Dubnyk gave up three goals on 24 shots in defeat as the Oilers also played without defenseman Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Cam Barker.

"Every team goes through some injuries. Other guys have to step it up and be leaders on and off the ice and take charge. There's no reason we should be losing games," said Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid.

Renney said on Wednesday that while Hall is doing much better, he put him as doubtful for tonight's game.