Pens aim for seventh straight victory against Blues

The hard-charging Pittsburgh Penguins will try to extend Star break for both teams.

The Penguins have won six in a row to post their longest winning streak of the season. The hot streak comes directly on the heels of an 0-6 slide from Dec. 29-Jan. 11 and the surge has helped put Pittsburgh four points ahead of New Jersey for the Eastern Conference's sixth seed.

Pittsburgh went past regulation to secure its two most recent victories -- both of which came on home ice. The Pens edge Montreal, 5-4, in a shootout on Friday and then posted a 4-3 overtime victory Sunday against the rival Washington Capitals.

Red-hot forward Evgeni Malkin played a major role in both Pittsburgh victories this weekend. Malkin tied Friday's game against the Canadiens with his goal late in regulation and scored the OT winner on Sunday, chipping the puck into the net just 1:31 into overtime. The Russian superstar has compiled nine goals and four assists during Pittsburgh's current winning streak and is leading the NHL with 58 points.

Malkin added two assists on Sunday for Pittsburgh and James Neal tallied twice in regulation, including the game-tying score seven minutes into the third period. Neal also assisted on Malkin's game-winner against the Caps.

"Malkin comes up with the heroics in terms of setting up the goal and creating opportunities in what was a tough-checking game," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 17 shots for the Penguins, who last lost on January 11 at Washington.

Pittsburgh has won its last three road games and is 13-10-2 as the guest this season.

The Blues, meanwhile, will try to rebound from their first regulation loss of the month tonight after dropping a 3-1 decision Monday in Detroit. St. Louis, which trails the Red Wings by three points for the Central Division lead, fell to 8-1-1 in January after losing in the Motor City.

Scott Nichol had the lone goal for the Blues, who had a four-game winning streak stopped. Jaroslav Halak was charged with all three goals on 28 shots in the loss.

"You can't win on the road scoring one goal and you can't win in this building scoring one goal," said St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock. "It was a playoff game out there tonight."

The Blues are tied for fourth in the Western Conference with Chicago and they'll try to bounce back tonight on home ice, where they are 21-3-3 this season.

After tonight, St. Louis won't return from the All-Star break until Feb. 3, when it hosts the Los Angeles Kings. The Penguins will return from the hiatus next Tuesday against visiting Toronto.

The Blues posted a 3-2 overtime win in Pittsburgh on Nov. 23 and St. Louis has won two straight and five of its last seven against the Penguins. Pittsburgh has also dropped five of its last six tilts in the Gateway City.