NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, April 25th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (19-23-4) at St. Louis Blues (27-17-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues begin their tune up for the playoffs on Thursday night when they take on the Calgary Flames in their penultimate game of the regular season.
The Blues clinched their second straight trip to the postseason with Tuesday's 3-1 home victory over the Colorado Avalanche to split a home-and-home series.
Chris Stewart hit a number of milestones in the win, scoring the 100th goal of his career and notching his 100th assist to give him 200 career points. Andy McDonald added a goal and an assist, while Patrik Berglund scored on the power play.
Goaltender Brian Elliott bounced back after allowing four goals on 19 shots in Sunday's 5-3 loss in Colorado. He stopped 17-of-18 pucks fired his way on Tuesday, helping the Blues move to 10-3-0 in April with their fourth victory in five games.
"It wasn't picture perfect, we've had our ups and downs but we're here now and that's all that matters," said Stewart about making the playoffs. "Now we have to wait to see who we play but we have a few more games here to tune up and that's what we're going to do."
St. Louis is set to appear in the postseason for just the third time since the lockout and is currently sixth overall in the Western Conference with 56 points. A victory tonight would guarantee the Blues at least the sixth seed in the conference and they trail the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks by one point in the standings with a game in hand.
The Blues wrap their regular season on Saturday versus the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks.
The Flames, who will miss the postseason for the fourth straight year, had won three straight and six of eight before Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators. Roman Cervenka scored twice, while T.J. Brodie added a goal.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves in the second contest of a season-ending four- game road trip that ends in Chicago on Friday.
"It was a close game, but they were the better team," said Kiprusoff.
With an eye towards next season, the Flames used a roster with a number of young players as veterans Mike Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak and Matt Stajan were all healthy scratches. Others like Cory Sarich, Steve Begin, Curtis Glencross and Alex Tanguay missed the contest due to injury.
The Flames snapped a three-game slide to the Blues with a 3-2 home victory on March 24. They had won 11 of their previous 14 trips to St. Louis before losing both games there last season.
04/25 10:49:53 ET