The Detroit Red Wings will try to get some payback for a brutal season-opening loss when they host the surging St. Louis Blues in Friday's Central Division clash at Joe Louis Arena.
The Blues dominated a visiting Detroit club on Jan. 19, scoring two goals in each period to earn the 6-0 victory. Vladimir Tarasenko and Chris Stewart each posted a pair of goals in the lopsided win.
That win ended a four-game losing streak in this series for the Blues. St. Louis has still lost three straight and six of its last seven in the Motor City.
St. Louis enters Friday's rematch riding a four-game winning streak, and with 12 points on the season, only San Jose and Chicago are ahead of the Blues in the NHL standings. At 6-1-0, St. Louis is off to its best start to a season since going 7-1-0 to kick off the 1997-98 campaign.
The Blues played Thursday evening in Columbus and posted a 4-1 victory over the struggling Blue Jackets. David Backes led a balanced offensive attack with a goal and an assist.
Barret Jackman, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for the Blues and Brian Elliott made 24 saves in the victory.
"He was great," Jackman said of Elliott. "He gave us a lot of confidence."
The Blues are 3-1-0 on the road this season and are capping a two-game trip in Detroit. After Friday's test, St. Louis is idle until Tuesday when it opens a four-game homestand versus Nashville.
The Red Wings will try to post consecutive wins for the first time this season in Friday's game. Detroit is 3-2-1 on the year and is coming off Tuesday's home win over the Dallas Stars.
Valtteri Filppula had two goals, Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots and the Red Wings beat the Stars, 4-1, at Joe Louis Arena.
Henrik Zetterberg had a rare power-play marker and an assist for the Red Wings, who scored four unanswered goals after Dallas' Loui Eriksson opened the scoring midway through the second period.
"Today was a good game. Hopefully, we can build on it," Filppula said.
Detroit was 1-for-6 on the power play and has scored just three goals on 32 opportunities with the man advantage this season.
Zetterberg missed practice on Thursday due to an illness, but is expected to play on Friday. Fellow forward Darren Helm is questionable with a sore back.
The Red Wings are 2-1-0 on home ice this season and have won their last two at the Joe.