Bruins shoot for much needed win in St. Louis

( - St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock was disappointed with the Blues most recent effort on the ice.

Boston Bruins bench boss Claude Julien has felt that way about his club for the better part of two weeks.

The Bruins look to snap their longest losing streak in five years on Friday night when they visit the Blues.

Boston arrives in St. Louis having gone 0-1-2 on a three-game tour of Western Canada. The Bruins conclude a string of five straight on the road Sunday in Chicago, but first aim to snap their current 0-3-2 slide tonight.

That rut is Boston's longest losing streak since it went 0-6-4 from Jan. 16- Feb. 6, 2010, and these current Bruins now own just a one-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Two days after an overtime defeat in Calgary, Boston was bested 4-3 in a lengthy shootout by the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Defenseman Martin Marincin was the lone scorer in the tiebreaker as he lost control of the puck before it slid between the pads of Boston netminder Tuukka Rask in the 12th round.

Reilly Smith, Loui Eriksson and David Pastrnak each had a goal for the Bruins.

"I think there is a lot of frustration right now," Julien said. "We have to find a way to overcome some things (and) be professionals."

There was a thought that Julien was going to give netminder Malcolm Subban his first NHL start in the meeting with the Oilers, but he ultimately went with Rask in an attempt to end his club's losing streak. He could stick with that mindset tonight and again go with Rask, who is 2-0-3 lifetime versus the Blues with a 1.53 goals against average, .947 save percentage and one shutout in five meetings.

St. Louis' current bump in the road is nowhere near the level of the Bruins' current struggles, but regardless the Blues aim to rebound after having a three-game win streak snapped with a 4-1 setback to the visiting Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Patrik Berglund scored the only goal of the game with 7:30 to play for the Blues, while Brian Elliott allowed three goals on six shots before getting pulled early in the first period. Jake Allen stopped 15-of-16 the rest of the way.

"We weren't ready to compete," Hitchcock said. "It's troubling."

The setback came in the opener of a four-game homestand and the Blues host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. They fell to 21-6-2 at home on the season and sit six points behind the first-place Nashville Predators in the Central Division and three ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings.

Elliott is 3-6-3 with a 2.90 GAA, .897 save percentage and one shutout in 12 lifetime encounters with the Bruins, while Allen has never faced them.

While the Blues have won 11 of their previous 15 meetings with the Bruins, they have lost three of the last four matchups in St. Louis and also lost the most recent encounter 2-0 in Boston on Nov. 18.

Rask posted a 33-save shutout, while Elliott yielded two goals on 17 shots faced.