Sports

Blues end five-game swing in Toronto

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues attempt to wrap a five-game road trip on a positive note Saturday evening when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Blues have a point in three of the first four games of this swing, though they came away empty on Thursday in Philadelphia despite a first-period goal by Jaden Schwartz. That's because the Flyers managed three goals in the third period to hand St. Louis a 3-1 loss.

Brian Elliott stopped 28 shots in defeat as St. Louis fell to 2-1-1 on its road trip. The Blues trail the first-place Nashville Predators by four points in the Central Division and are only two points up on the Chicago Blackhawks.

"There were signs that we played well," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. "We didn't have enough participants to win on the road, not near enough."

Hitchcock is expected to give forward Olli Jokinen his Blues debut this evening. The 36-year-old forward was acquired from Toronto prior to Monday's trade deadline after playing in only six games with the Maple Leafs. They had previously acquired him in a deal with the Predators.

Elliott figures to start tonight as well and is 5-5-1 lifetime versus the Maple Leafs with a 2.78 goals against average, .907 save percentage and two shutouts. One of those came on Jan. 17 in St. Louis as the Blues blanked the Leafs 3-0 behind Elliott's 27 saves.

That victory was the Blues' third in a row in this series and they have points in each of the past eight encounters (6-0-2). They also are 7-0-1 in their past eight trips to Toronto.

Jonathan Bernier allowed all three goals for the Leafs on 33 shots faced, falling to 2-4-0 in his career against Toronto with a 3.15 GAA and .898 save percentage.

Bernier made 27 saves in Toronto's 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, the Maple Leafs' third loss in their past four games.

"I didn't like the first (period) because we turned the puck over 11 times and that put us on our heels," said Toronto coach Peter Horachek. "They scored those two goals and again we're chasing the game. We played much better in the second period and had some chances ... but you can't start games off that way. We have to be mentally better to play."

David Booth and Richard Panik supplied offense for the reeling Leafs, who were coming off a win at Florida on Tuesday that halted a 16-game road losing streak (0-14-2).

Toronto will play its next three games at home beginning tonight.