The St Louis Blues start April off by hosting the Boston Bruins. This is one of the final 5 games in the regular season for the Blues. St Louis (46-22-9) is currently in second place in the Central Division and the Western Conference with 101 points, 2 points behind Dallas who played Thursday. The Bruins (40-29-8) are currently sitting in third place in the Atlantic Division with 88 points, one point ahead of Detroit who is out of the playoffs. Tonight’s game is set to start at 8:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM CT.
Preview: This is the final meeting between the Blues and the Bruins in the regular season. The first game took place December 22nd in Boston and ended with a 2-0 Blues shutout of the Bruins. Vladimir Tarasenko and Robby Fabbri netted the goals for St Louis that night, and Jake Allen was in goal.
Brian Elliott will get the start in net tonight for the Blues. He has won his last 9 games. The franchise record is 10 straight games, set by Brent Johnson Jan 3-Jan 23, 2002. He will likely face Tuukka Rask in goal for the Bruins. Rask has a 29-22-7 record with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
Magnus Paajarvi will be in the lineup tonight for the Blues. He has been a healthy scratch for the past 5 games. Paajarvi will be taking Fabbri’s place on the roster, and will be playing on the line with Paul Stastny and Troy Brouwer. Expect Dmitrij Jaskin to get to start in one of the games in the coming days.
The Bruins have been struggling lately going 1-6-0 in their past 7 games, this after they started the month off with a record of 5-0-2. This is the worst time for them to fall-off; they are only ahead of Detroit by one point.
Injury Report: Fabbri is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Steve Ott remains on LTIR with a lower-body injury after hamstring surgery. Jay Bouwmeester is out with an upper-body injury and Carl Gunnarsson is out with a lower-body injury.
Let’s Go Blues!
Review: On Tuesday the Blues hosted the Colorado Avalanche in a heated division battle. Brian Elliott was back in net, as the Blues tried to continue with their shutout streak. St Louis had already managed to get 4 shutouts in a row, a 5th would tie the modern NHL record.
The Blues got a boost to their roster when Alexander Steen returned to the lineup. He made his presence felt early on, when the Blues found themselves on a power play one minute into the game. Steen had a massive shot from the blue line. The shot was an absolute rocket that hit Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog. The puck then deflected off of David Backes on it way past the stick side of Semyon Varlamov. It was 1:48 into the game and the Blues led by 1-0.
Late in the period the Avalanche found a hole and struck. Tyson Barrie flips the puck past Colton Parayko to set up Mikhail Grigorenko. Grigorenko had a wide open net to shoot the puck past the stick side of Elliott, who didn’t have a chance at stopping this one. There was 1:48 remaining in the first period and this game was tied 1-1.
The Blues shutout streak officially came to an end at 258:30. Not too shabby.
Early in the second period Patrik Berglund gave everyone a scare when he appeared to get injured. Berglund was in a battle and ended up sliding into the boards knees first. He hit hard. Berglund got up slowly and headed to the bench and then off to the locker room. It looked as if Berglund was going to be added to the list of injured Blues’ players. Luckily he returned to the game shortly later.
With 10:30 remaining in the second, the Blues found themselves on the power play once again. Paul Stastny sent a pass to Troy Brouwer in the slot. Brouwer took a shot that went past Varlamov’s glove side and in. The Blues had the lead 2-1.
Later in the period Vladimir Tarasenko intercepted a puck from Colorado’s d-man Chris Bigras. Tarasenko sent a wrist shot from the left circle into the near-side goal. The Blues led by 3-1.
1:52 into the third period and Robby Fabbri went down. Jack Skille gave Fabbri a cross-check that sent him down to the ice. As Fabbri was going down he twisted with his left leg twisting awkwardly under him and his toe catching the ice. Fabbri was very slow getting up and to the bench. He did not put much weight on his leg, and he headed to the locker room with a noticeable limp. Scottie Upshall took his place on the line with Stastny and Brouwer for the remainder of the game. Fabbri is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury after this incident.
With 4:38 remaining in the game, the Avalanche pull Varlamov for the extra attacker. Tarasenko had 3 shots on the empty net, but couldn’t get a goal to save his life. The Final: Blues 3, Avalanche 1.
Elliott has now won 9 straight games that he has played. Congratulations Moose, keep it up!
Feature Image Courtesy Of Dinur / Flickr