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Preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Detroit Red Wings

(Photo: Jeff Curry / USA Today)

St. Louis, MO – The Detroit Red Wings (26-37-10) visit the Enterprise Center to faceoff against the St. Louis Blues (38-27-8). St. Louis currently sits in 3rd place in the Central Division with 84 points in 73 games played. The Blues are 2 points ahead of the Dallas Stars. Detroit is on the outside looking in with just 62 points in 73 games played.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings are winners of their last two. Last Saturday, Detroit defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 at Little Caesars Arena. Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, they were able to beat the New York Rangers 3-2.

The 4 games prior were losses. The Wings fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning twice, 3-2 on March 9th at Amalie Arena, and 5-4 on March 14th at home. They were blown out by the Florida Panthers 6-1 on March 9th at the BB&T Center and suffered a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on March 12th.

Victorious in 3 of 9 games played in March, Detroit needed overtime and a shootout to win one of them over the Rangers on March 7th. The others were won in regulation but only by a single goal. Looking at their last 10 games, the Red Wings have posted a (3-6-1) record including an 8-1 beating by the Montreal Canadiens in Detroit on February 26th. In that span, the Wings have averaged 2 goals per game and have been outscored by their opponents 37-20.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues are (4-4-2) in their last 10 games, outscoring their opponents 30-27, and have averaged 3 goals per game. However, with the recent 7-goal performance against the Edmonton Oilers, the 4-3 shootout loss against Buffalo, and the 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis has scored 15 goals in their last 3 games, scoring more than double the amount of goals they’ve allowed.

To be fair, St. Louis has seen their share of ugly games in March, The Blues lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on March 1st at PNC Arena. They were served a 4-1 loss by the Dallas Stars the following night at Enterprise Center. The Blues suffered a 3-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at home on March 12th and a 2-0 shutout loss in Ottawa on March 14th.

When the Blues have won in March, they’ve outscored their opponents 21-7. Only one game against the Ducks in Anaheim did they win by a single goal. The other three were won by 4 or more goals as St. Louis shutout the Kings at the Staples Center 4-0, defeated the Penguins 5-1 in Pittsburgh, and as mentioned earlier, handed the Edmonton Oilers a 7-2 loss here in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Perron & Tarasenko

As of Tuesday, the Blues’ top line of Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly, and Vladimir Tarasenko is intact. Tarasenko had missed 5 games due to upper body injury. In his absence, we saw players like Jaden Schwartz and Robert Thomas play the top line right wing. The Blues are 14-0-0 when their top line is together, and the trio is responsible for 57 points in those 14 games (per Lou Korac of NHL.com).

Another boost that the Blues have received is the return of David Perron who also played the right wing on the top line for a game since returning after having a concussion. Tarasenko made his return shortly after David’s. Perron scored a goal in Buffalo playing aside Schenn and O’Reilly, but upon Tarasenko’s return has been moved to a line with Oskar Sundqvist and Jaden Schwartz.

The 2nd line flourished as David was able to score 2 goals and register an assist against Edmonton. Left Wing, Jaden Schwartz had himself a hat trick and tallied an assist for a 4 point night. It’s great to see Jaden be rewarded for his hard work and for David to continue his personal point streak of 16 games and 20 points (not recognized by the NHL due to injury absence).

The Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues faceoff at Enterprise Center 7:00 PM Central Time.

Live coverage of tonight’s game is provided by:

STL: FS-MW, KMOX 1120 AM

DET: FS-D, WXYT 97.1 FM

 

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