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Blues aim for home-and-home sweep in Columbus

The red-hot St. Louis Blues will try to post a fifth and-home series with the Blue Jackets, as they visit Columbus tonight at Nationwide Arena.

The Blues have outscored the opposition 15-4 during their four-game winning streak and Ken Hitchcock's club has won eight of nine contests overall.

The surge has helped push St. Louis to the top of the NHL standings with 95 points. The Blues are four points ahead of Detroit for the Central Division lead and are three in front of Vancouver for the top spot in the Western Conference and NHL.

The Blues won the opener of this home-and-home set Saturday in St. Louis, as Brian Elliott stopped 21-of-22 shots sent his way in the 4-1 victory at Scottrade Center.

The victory improved Elliott's record on the year to 21-8-2, but Jaroslav Halak is expected to get the start today. Halak is 23-10-5 this year and has allowed two goals or less in winning each of his last seven starts.

David Perron, Chris Stewart, T.J. Oshie and Alex Pietrangelo all scored and Andy McDonald added two assists for the Blues on Saturday.

"We're having tons of fun," Stewart said of sitting on top of the standings. "Anytime you're winning hockey games and you're on top of the league you can have fun. We're all involved and we're making the most of the opportunity."

Although the Blue Jackets are last in the NHL with 51 points, the club had won a season-high four in a row before losing Saturday in the Gateway City. Cam Atkinson scored and Curtis Sanford was tagged for four goals on 29 shots for Columbus, which will aim for its third straight victory on home ice today.

With Steve Mason sidelined with a lacerated left hand, Sanford is expected to get another start this evening. Goaltender Allen York is also with the club after being recalled from Chicago of the ECHL on an emergency basis.

The Blues have taken three of four from Columbus this season and have won seven of nine overall in the series. St. Louis has won four of its last six games in Ohio, but the Blue Jackets posted a 2-1 win when the clubs met at Nationwide Arena on Feb. 14.

St. Louis is 15-14-3 as the guest this year, while Columbus is 13-18-3 on home ice.