Red Wings target fifth straight win in St. Louis

The Red Wings and Blues both feature goaltenders who are in top form as of late. All bets could be off tonight given the offensive showcase the two teams put on last season.

Detroit aims for a fifth consecutive victory while St. Louis tries to extend its three-game point streak under new head coach Ken Hitchcock in Tuesday's meeting between Central Division rivals.

The Red Wings' run of four straight victories comes on the heels of a six-game slide and has seen the club outscore its opponents by a 18-4 margin. That run helped Detroit finish off a six-game homestand at 4-1-1.

Jimmy Howard has been in net for all four wins, posting a pair of shutouts in that span. He picked up the NHL's Second Star for the week on Monday after going 3-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average in three starts last week.

The Blues, meanwhile, have gone 2-0-1 under Hitchcock since he replaced a fired Payne Davis last Sunday. Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves in a shutout to help Hitchcock win his debut last Tuesday and Brian Elliott followed a shootout loss to the Maple Leafs two days later with a shutout of his own on Saturday over the Lightning.

Halak and Elliott have combined to go 3-1-1 over St. Louis' last five games while giving up seven total goals. The duo has posted a collective 1.40 GAA and .944 save percentage in that span.

Those numbers could take a hit tonight. Detroit and St. Louis have combined for no less than six goals in each of the last 11 meetings, with the Blues scoring 25 goals in six games versus the Red Wings last year. Ten of those came in the final meeting of the season on March 30, a 10-3 win.

Detroit scored 27 goals in the season series, taking four of six. The Red Wings have won eight of their last 10 in St. Louis.

The Red Wings got goals from five different players in Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Stars. Johan Franzen led the way with a goal and an assist, while Valtteri Filppula had two assists to give him a goal and five helpers over his last four games.

Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Darren Helm and Brad Stuart also lit the lamp for the Red Wings, while Howard made 25 saves.

"I'm not really expected to score so it's nice when you're able to do it," said Stuart, who scored for the first time since Dec. 29. "We won the game and guys are playing well. That's the most important thing."

White is not expected to play tonight in the opener of a four-game road trip after he blocked a shot on a diving play in the third period. The puck hit off of White's face as he saved a goal but also suffered a broken cheekbone.

"The guy's got a lot of guts to throw his face like that in front of the puck," Howard told Detroit's website.

The Blues were also last in action on Saturday when it notched a 3-0 win over the Lightning. Elliott stopped 19 shots for his 11th career shutout.

"That's the complete team game we wanted," said Elliott, who has two shutouts in four starts. "Everybody's hustling, everybody's working. No one took a shift off tonight."

Kris Russell scored in his first game as a Blue after being acquired from Columbus in exchange for defenseman Nikita Nikitin, while Kevin Shattenkirk and T.J. Oshie netted the other goals.

St. Louis moved to 5-1-1 at home this season and 8-0-0 when scoring three goals or more.

"We managed the game properly, we didn't get frustrated when we didn't score and we did a lot of good things tonight," Hitchcock said.

The Blues, who play the fourth of five straight at home, are 7-2-1 in their last 10 home games dating back to last season and have three shutouts in that span while outscoring their opponents 28-16.