The powerful St. Louis Blues will aim for a seventh win in eight tries when they host the Anaheim Ducks in tonight's clash at Scottrade Center.
The Blues have won six of seven and are 13-5-0 since the start of February. The recent surge has helped vault St. Louis into first place in the Central Division, where it holds a two-point edge over Detroit. The Blues are also one point ahead of Vancouver for the top seed in the Western Conference and are tied with the New York Rangers for the overall NHL lead.
Tonight, St. Louis welcomes a club that is desperate to find a way into the playoffs. The Ducks are six points out of the eighth and final postseason berth in the West with just 15 games left in the regular season.
The Blues and Ducks have split two meetings this season, with each club winning a home game. Anaheim has lost four straight and seven of its last nine games in St. Louis.
St. Louis is coming off consecutive wins over San Jose and Chicago and the Blues outscored those opponents by a combined 8-2 margin. The most recent win came in Tuesday's 5-1 decision over the visiting Blackhawks, as Andy McDonald scored a pair of goals for St. Louis.
"It's exciting but we realize there is a lot of hard work left," McDonald said of his team's surprising run to the playoffs. "Most importantly we have to make sure we are getting our game to a spot where we are ready for the playoffs and we're improving and we're not kind of coasting into the playoffs."
Vladimir Sobotka, T.J. Oshie and Jason Arnott also lit the lamp for the Blues, while Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves.
Tuesday's victory kicked off a three-game homestand for St. Louis, which boasts a terrific 27-4-4 record in the Gateway City this season. The Blues will complete the residency Sunday against Columbus before heading out on a seven-game road trip.
Anaheim has won two of three on the heels of a three-game slide and is coming off Monday's win over Edmonton. Corey Perry scored the winner in the third period as the Ducks took a 4-2 decision over the visiting Oilers.
Perry scored twice, with the winner being the 200th goal his career, while Jason Blake and Bobby Ryan also lit the lamp for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller turned aside 34 shots for the win and extended his club record with his 26th straight start in net.
Anaheim right wing Teemu Selanne had an assist in the game for his 1,398th point, moving him into a tie with Jari Kurri for 19th on the NHL's all-time scoring list.
The Ducks are beginning a three-game road trip tonight and have struggled to an 11-14-8 record as the guest this season. Anaheim will visit Dallas on Saturday before closing the swing Monday in Colorado.