NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 1st
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (39-27-8) at St. Louis Blues (50-17-7), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - As they try to move closer to a Central Division title,
the St. Louis Blues will aim to get a bit of revenge for a recent loss when
they welcome the Philadelphia Flyers for Tuesday's clash at Scottrade Center.
The Blues, who hold a seven-point lead over Colorado for the Central's top
spot, recently wrapped March with a strong 11-3-1 record. However, all three
of their regulation losses last month came over the last six games, including
a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia on March 22.
Steve Mason stopped 32-of-33 shots to help the Flyers down the Blues last
month. It was just the second win for Philadelphia in the last five meetings,
although Philadelphia has claimed 10 of the past 14 encounters overall.
The Blues have taken two straight on home ice against the Flyers, who haven't
won in St. Louis since recording a 5-2 win on Dec. 17, 2005.
St. Louis, which has already clinched a playoff spot, had a three-game winning
streak halted its last time out, dropping Saturday's home game against Dallas.
Colton Sceviour recorded his first career two-goal effort to help the Stars
pick up a 4-2 win at Scottrade Center.
Alex Steen tallied both goals for the Blues and Kevin Shattenkirk added two
assists. Ryan Miller allowed all four goals on 27 shots in defeat.
"Where we are right now is too inconsistent," said St. Louis head coach Ken
Hitchcock. "We've got too many players who are having good games and then
following it up with poor games."
In addition to leading the Central Division with 107 points, the Blues are one
point ahead of Anaheim for the Western Conference lead. St. Louis also is
three points behind Boston for the NHL lead. With eight games remaining on
their regular-season schedule, the Blues hold a game in hand over both the
Bruins and Ducks.
St. Louis is playing the third part of a five-game homestand on Tuesday and is
26-6-4 at Scottrade Center this season.
The Flyers' recent win over St. Louis was the club's fifth straight victory,
but Philly has lost three of four games since then.
Philadelphia was able to pick up a hard-earned point in Sunday's home shootout
loss against the Bruins. The Flyers forced overtime thanks to a goal from
Vincent Lecavalier with 24.1 seconds left in regulation.
Reilly Smith eventually scored the game-winner for the Bruins in the fifth
round of the shootout, handing Boston the 4-3 triumph.
Lecavalier also lit the lamp in the first period for his 400th career goal,
while Kimmo Timonen notched the other goal for Philadelphia. Mason made 27
saves in defeat.
"I thought we carried the play for the majority of the game," Mason said.
"It's unfortunate not to get the extra point, but I thought we played a really
The point gained in the loss allowed Philly to briefly tie the New York
Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division, but the Blueshirts
pushed the lead to two points with a win Sunday night in Edmonton.
The top three teams in each division earn automatic bids to the playoffs. The
Flyers are four points ahead of fourth-place Columbus in the Metro. Like
Philly, the Blue Jackets, who host Colorado on Tuesday, have eight games left
in the regular season.
The Flyers, who are 16-14-6 as the away team this season, will play five of
their remaining eight games on the road.
Philadelphia forward Steve Downie hasn't played since suffering a head injury
in the opening minutes of the win over St. Louis on March 22. He is
questionable for Tuesday.
04/01 10:41:59 ET