Gameday: Blues vs Stars

Blues defensemen Colton Parayko (55) wrestles for the puck with Stars forward Matias Janmark (13). (Photo courtesy: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)

2/8: Blues/Stars, Enterprise Center, 7pm CT – Fox Sports Midwest, ESPN 101.1

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues (32-15-8) look to close out the homestand on a winning note against the division rival Dallas Stars (30-19-5). St. Louis suffered another disappointing 4-2 loss against the Jets on Thursday, as they split the season series with Winnipeg. Jansen Harkins scored his first NHL goal on Jordan Binnington and Nikolaj Ehlers scored the empty net goal in the dying seconds of the game.

“Power play has been good, penalty kill has been pretty solid. Our special teams have been good,” Blues Head Coach Craig Berube told reporters on Friday. “A lot of good stuff is going on, but not the No. 1 thing: wins. And that’s what we care about.”

The Stars come into tonight on the second half a back-to-back, losing to the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Joel Eriksson Ek had two goals, including the heartbreaking go-ahead goal with less than 28 seconds to play in regulation.

“We worked pretty hard,” said Stars interim coach Rick Bowness. “We had some really good looks that we didn’t score on. (Minnesota goalie Devan) Dubnyk played great for them. He did his thing and they got a couple of fluky goals on us, it’s as simple as that.”

The Blues and Stars meet for the first time since late November, going 2-0 against the Stars so far in the 5-game season series. While the Stars are right in the mix for the Central Division race, the Blues are favored to take tonight’s game at -165. The Blues and Stars face off for the first of three matchups in February tonight at 7pm CT on Fox Sports Midwest and ESPN 101.1.

Final Third of Season

We’re officially through 2/3 of the NHL season, and the playoff hunt is only getting crazier around the league. In the Western Conference, six different teams are 3 points apart from each other for the top two wild card spots. Colorado can tie St. Louis with its three games in hand, as the Blues are 4-5-1 in their last 10.

“It’s kind of desperate hockey down the stretch,” Mackenzie MacEachern said. “Everyone’s kind of playing playoff hockey, kind of fighting. I just looked at our division today, two points separate the last-place division in our team and a wild-card berth, so it’s pretty tight. We’ve outplayed a lot of our teams, we haven’t really beared down and put them away when we had a chance. We have to have that killer instinct going forward.”

MacEachern will be in for Jordan Kyrou in tonight’s game, and Jacob de la Rose will replace Troy Brouwer.

Blue Notes

Alex Pietrangelo will play in his 744th career game, tying Brett Hull for 5th on the Blues all-time games played list… The Blues have 22 wins against Western Conference opponents, more than any other team… Zach Sanford has 9 points (4G 5A) in his last seven games

The blues and Stars play on Fox Sports Midwest and ESPN 101.1 tonight at 8pm ET, with two big Central Division points up for grabs.

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