(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues look to match their longest winning
streak of the season on Tuesday evening as they kick off a three-game swing
through Western Canada with a meeting against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Blues have won three straight and five of their past six games, putting
them second in the Central Division with 34 points. Though that is 17 back of
the first-place Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis is tied for fourth in the
St. Louis completed a perfect three-game homestand on Saturday with a 2-1
overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks. Chris Stewart stayed red-hot and
put home his team-leading 14th goal and 28th point of the season 45 seconds
Stewart has seven points in his past three games as well as seven goals and
seven assists over the previous seven. His winner came after Vladimir Sobotka
picked up a steal at his own blue line and hit the trailing Stewart, who
waited for Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller to make a move before lifting a
backhander into the net.
"By the time (Sobotka) gave it to me, Hiller was already down and out and I
went back to the backhand and put it home," Stewart said.
Kris Russell added a power-play marker and Jake Allen stopped 27-of-28 shots.
Vladimir Tarasenko, meanwhile. returned from a 10-game absence caused by a
concussion and had an assist.
St. Louis, which won a season-high four straight games from Jan. 24-31, also
seems poised to get Andy McDonald back from a left knee injury that has held
him out of the last 10 games. McDonald was hurt in a collision at practice on
Feb. 26, but practiced on Monday and the Blues cleared a roster spot by
sending winger Adam Cracknell to the AHL.
That leaves just T.J. Oshie (bruised ribs) and Jamie Langenbrunner (hip
surgery), who is not expected back this season, on injured reserve, while
defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is questionable after missing Saturday's game due
to flu-like symptoms.
Allen, meanwhile, is expected to start again on Tuesday after improving to
8-1-0 on the season with Saturday's win. One of the rookie's victories came on
Feb. 17 in Vancouver, where he made 28 saves in a 4-3 shootout win.
Oshie and McDonald scored in regulation and the shootout for the Blues, who
have won five of their last nine in Vancouver.
Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks, while
Roberto Luongo made 20 saves.
Luongo stopped 22-of-25 shots in Monday's 3-1 loss to Minnesota. It marked the
first time that the Wild won in Vancouver since Jan. 31, 2009 and put the club
two points ahead of the Canucks for first place in the Northwest Division.
The Canucks dropped to seventh in the Western Conference despite a power-play
goal by Henrik Sedin. It was the first goal for Vancouver on the man advantage
in 12 games and it was 0-for-30 in the previous 11.
"In the end it's not about the power-play goals, it's about the wins and we
didn't win tonight," Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said.
Vancouver has lost two straight and eight of its past 11. It will conclude a
four-game homestand with Cory Schneider in net and he has split two career
meetings with the Blues, giving up five goals on 61 shots.
The Blues will visit Edmonton on Saturday before ending their trip in Calgary
the following night.
The Sports Network