NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 7th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (19-7-5) at St. Louis Blues (19-5-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to grab sole possession of
first place in the Pacific Division on Saturday, when they visit the St. Louis
Blues for a Western Conference showdown at Scottrade Center.
Anaheim picked up a shootout win Friday evening in Chicago, halting a two-game
skid with the 3-2 decision at United Center. The win also moved the Ducks into
a tie with San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division at 43 points
apiece. The Sharks, who are idle on Saturday, lost a regulation decision at
Carolina on Friday.
Friday's victory in the Windy City was just the second win in the last five
trips to the ice for the Ducks. However, Anaheim has registered at least a
point in four straight games (2-0-2) heading into Saturday's clash with the
The Ducks have won five of the last eight meetings against the Blues, but St.
Louis ended a three-game series' skid with a 2-1 home overtime win on March 16
of last season.
The Blues are 6-0-1 in the last seven encounters between these clubs in the
Kyle Palmieri scored the winner in the shootout phase for the Ducks on Friday.
In the second round, Palmieri faked to the backhand and lifted it over Antti
Raanta. Patrick Kane then had his backhand stopped by Jonas Hiller to end the
game and give Anaheim its fifth straight win over the Blackhawks.
"It was a little rough the past couple of shootouts so this is nice to get the
extra point," said Hiller. "I got beat on the first one, but then was able to
stop the next two and it feels good to help the team out."
Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist while Corey Perry also scored for the
Ducks. Hiller made 23 stops through regulation and overtime.
Anaheim is completing a brief two-game road trip tonight. The Ducks are 9-7-3
as the visiting club in 2013-14 compared to a stellar 10-0-2 mark on home ice.
Anaheim is set to open a three-game homestand when it welcomes the New York
Islanders to the Honda Center on Monday.
The Blues ended a two-game slide in their last trip to the ice, as they
slammed the visiting Islanders by a 5-1 score on Thursday. St. Louis
defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had a goal and an assist to help lead the way in
It was the fifth straight home win for the Blues, who are 12-1-2 at Scottrade
Center this season. After Saturday's test, St. Louis will play three of its
next four games on the road, beginning with Tuesday's tilt at Winnipeg.
Derek Roy, David Backes, Magnus Paajarvi and Brenden Morrow also scored for
the Blues on Thursday while T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk both added a pair
of assists. Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves for the win.
St. Louis recorded three goals on six opportunities with the man advantage on
Thursday after going a combined 1-for-10 on the power play in its previous two
"We were very effective on the power play," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.
"We moved the puck, found shooting lanes. I thought all three goals, there was
no chance for the goalie on any of the goals."
St. Louis has won six of its last eight games and is currently sitting second
in the Central Division standings with 41 points.
12/07 10:42:54 ET