Blues, Ducks clash in Western showdown

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

( - Two of the top teams in the Western Conference meet for the final time this regular season as the Anaheim Ducks host the St. Louis Blues at Honda Center.

The clubs split a pair of meetings in October, with each club winning at home. The Ducks blanked the Blues 3-0 on Oct. 19, with Frederik Andersen making 28 saves for his first and so far only career shutout.

Andersen improved to a perfect 3-0-0 versus the Blues with a 1.33 goals against average and .957 save percentage.

That win was Anaheim's eighth in a row at home over St. Louis, with the past two victories coming by a way of a shutout.

The Blues then snapped a four-game slide in the series and beat the Ducks for only the second time in the previous nine meetings with a 2-0 victory on Oct. 30. Jake Allen posted a 24-save shutout.

Anaheim resumes an eight-game homestand on Friday. The Ducks won the opener of the residency last Sunday, but were then blanked 3-0 by the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

The Ducks allowed the Sharks to go on the power play eight times in the contest, with San Jose converting on its only 5-on-3 advantage in the game.

"We had some good looks, but we weren't able to score. They came out strong and we weren't able to be ready for them. We need to be more composed," said Andersen, who made 24 saves.

Anaheim was blanked despite the return of Corey Perry to the lineup. He had sat out the previous 10 games with a knee injury and ranks second on Anaheim with 14 goals.

"I felt all right. The first game back is always a test, but the legs felt okay and the knee felt fine. It's just a matter of getting back into the swing of things," said Perry.

The Blues resume their road trip tonight and lost the opener of the swing 3-2 in Nashville on Tuesday. Chris Butler and T.J. Oshie had second-period tallies in St. Louis' fifth loss in six games.

"The three goals they got were on breakdowns," said Blues forward David Backes, who assisted on both goals. "They didn't hesitate to put them in the back of our net."

Brian Elliott returned to action for the first time since suffering a lower- body injury on Nov. 25 and halted a season-high 44 shots. He is expected to start on Saturday when the Blues visit the Sharks.

Martin Brodeur, signed not long after Elliott got hurt, will get the call in net tonight for the Blues. He is coming off a 16-save shutout versus Colorado on Dec. 29, the 125th of his career in the regular season.

Brodeur is 15-6-0 with a 1.88 GAA and .929 save percentage lifetime versus the Ducks.

Blues forward Jaden Schwartz is now considered day-to-day after returning to practice on Thursday in a no-contract jersey. He had been listed as week-to- week after hurting his right foot blocking a shot on Dec. 16.

Schwartz has 11 goals and 16 assists in 31 games this season, though he is unlikely to play tonight.