Gameday: Blues at Devils

Blues forward Robert Thomas (18) stickhandles the puck against Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28). (Photo courtesy: Christian Gooden, STL Post-Dispatch)

3/6: Blues/Devils, Prudential Center, 6pm CT – Fox Sports Midwest, ESPN 101.1

NEWARK – The northeastern road trip continues for the St. Louis Blues (40-17-10) as they could set a season-high 9 wins in a row against the New Jersey Devils (26-28-12). The Blues got a big two points over the New York Rangers on Tuesday, after Brayden Schenn scored on a wraparound attempt in the third to secure the 3-1 win.

Jordan Binnington was the biggest star of the game, making 25 saves on 26 shots, being tested regularly through the full 60 minutes. Despite the Devils’ lowly record, however, head coach Craig Berube knows there’s still no time to slack off.

“A lot of times coming into a game like tonight, you think, we should win and it’s going to be easy, but it’s not. It’s going to be hard. They’re going to put pressure on us everywhere and they’ve got good skill over there; they can capitalize on opportunities with their skill, so you’ve got to stay focused and not get frustrated when you play these teams and just stay with it and keep wearing them down.”

After shutting out the Ducks 3-0, the Devils suffered the same fate to the Golden Knights on Tuesday, finishing their West Coast/California road trip 1-1-2. Robin Lehner got his first shutout and second win as a Golden Knight, making 27 saves on New Jersey. “Our execution was atrocious. Our level of focus wasn’t great and our execution cost us a lot of problems,” said Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine after the game.

The Blues and Devils meet for the second and final time this season tonight, after the 3-0 win back in February started this 8-game win streak. St. Louis will be playing o Fox Sports Midwest and ESPN 101.1 at 6pm CT.

Blues Agree with Thunderbirds

With the sudden purchase of the San Antonio Rampage by Vegas, the Blues needed to quickly find a new AHL affiliate for their junior players. They found one today, as GM Doug Armstrong announced earlier today that the St. Louis Blues signed a five-year affiliation agreement with the Springfield Thunderbirds out of Massachusetts.

“We are excited to announce our deal with Springfield and close our search for a new affiliate,” said Armstrong. “Springfield is a strong franchise in a city with a rich hockey history. Our partnership will allow us to continue to develop our players and further strengthen our franchise as a whole.”

Playing in the MassMutual Center since 2016, the Thunderbirds were originally affiliated with the Florida Panthers, which will remain in place of the rest of the 2019-20 season, upon which the Blues will be affiliated with Springfield until 2025.

“We are pleased to announce our affiliation agreement with the St. Louis Blues. Our two organizations share a commitment to community, fan engagement, and putting a first-rate product on the ice. With this partnership, we believe the future is bright for professional hockey in Springfield,” said Thunderbirds president Nathan Costa.

Blue Notes

Ryan O’Reilly has an assist in 4 straight games… Brayden Schenn has 8 points (5G 3A) in his last 8 games, and a career-high goals in 5 straight… The Blues have a 12-game winning streak against New Jersey, the longest in Blues history

Projected Lineups

FORWARDS

Schwartz – O’Reilly – Schenn

Sanford – Thomas – Perron

Steen – Bozak – Kyrou

Barbashev – Sundqvist – Blais

DEFENSE

Faulk – Pietrangelo

Scandella – Parayko

Dunn – Bortuzzo

IN GOAL

Binnington

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