Sharks captain Logan Couture (39) attempts to score on Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50). (Photo courtesy: Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images)
1/7: Blues/Sharks, Enterprise Center, 7pm CT – FSMW, ESPN 101.1
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues (26-10-7) can snap a 3-game winless skid tonight in the first of a 5-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks (19-21-4). The Blues finished a disappointing road trip going 0-2-1 with a 5-4 overtime loss against the Golden Knights, after surrendering a 3-goal lead in the second.
“You can’t just show up to the rink every night and expect you’re going to win,” Blue forward Brayden Schenn said after Monday’s practice. “You have to buy into the system and play hard. If you do that, more times than not, you win hockey games. I don’t think we did that on this road trip. At the same time, those are three good teams we played.”
The Sharks suffered a similar 5-4 overtime collapse – after going up 4-2 in the final minute of regulation, Washington scored two to tie it, and eventually win it, in overtime. Evander Kane recorded his second hat trick of the season in the second period, but Lars Eller scored in overtime to win it for the Capitals.
“Of course, all that’s forgotten if you score in overtime,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner told NHL.com. “We had a post, 2-on-1 and a breakaway. So that’s the way the game goes.”
The Sharks and Blues play their second of three matchups this season, with St. Louis taking the first contest 5-2. Tonight’s game will be featured on Fox Sports Midwest, ESPN 101.1, and on NHL.com.
Blais, Gunnarsson Practice
After an injury-ridden first half of the season, the Blues are finally starting to collect more of their core players. Oskar Sundqvist scored in the loss against Vegas after missing time, Alex Steen had great chances and shots on the road trip, and Ivan Barbashev scored an assist to break his point drought.
Now, more Blues finally look like they’re on the verge of turning the corner with their injuries. Sammy Blais, who required wrist surgery back in November, was out practicing with the team yesterday, and could even grip his ow stick. Carl Gunnarsson, who was week-to-week with a lower body injury, was also out practicing on the ice. As the All-Star break approaches and Vladimir Tarasenko’s timetable still slated for playoffs, the health of the Blues is finally starting to look optimistic.
For local Blues stories, recaps, insights and more, visit bluesrants.com!