Sports

Blues hope to keep up scoring pace in rematch vs. Sharks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues put forth their best offensive showing of the season last weekend versus the San Jose Sharks and didn't slow down earlier this week.

The Blues try to keep the offense going on Thursday evening when they rematch with the visiting Sharks.

St. Louis had lost six of seven, including the first two of a four-game road trip, before blowing out the Sharks in San Jose 7-2 on Saturday. The Blues set a season high for goals in a game, with T.J. Oshie picking up a hat trick.

It was then David Backes' turn to shine on Tuesday in Arizona as St. Louis wrapped its swing with a 6-0 victory. Four of those goals were scored by Backes, who matched a career high and posted the sixth hat trick by a St. Louis skater this season.

"It's crazy. We've gone years without a hat trick and now we have six," Backes said. "I don't know how to explain it, but you won't hear anyone complaining about having hot nights like that. Five guys (with hat tricks), that says something about how different guys are stepping up every night."

Oshie had three assists and Brian Elliott made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season and 27th of his career.

Elliott is likely to start tonight when the Blues open a seven-game homestand. He made 18 saves versus the Sharks last Saturday and is 3-2-1 versus them in his career with a 2.62 goals against average and .913 save percentage.

The Sharks had won four straight versus the Blues before that setback, but have been able to rebound with a pair of wins thanks to defenseman Marc- Edouard Vlasic.

Vlasic scored the winning goal with 4.5 seconds left on Monday in a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, then lit the lamp with 1:52 remaining in overtime to top the Minnesota Wild 4-3.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels scored three consecutive goals to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead, but Jason Zucker's second goal of the game tied it for Minnesota in the third period.

"We stuck with it as much as we could," said Wingels. "We made some mistakes there and they were able to tie the game, but we were fighting in the corners and winning some battles."

Alex Stalock made 28 saves for San Jose, which won for the third time in four games.

Antti Niemi figures to return to net tonight and he'll look to rebound after giving up six goals on 27 shots in 45 minutes versus the Blues on Saturday. He fell to 9-7-0 against them with a 2.74 GAA and .905 save percentage.