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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Blues (23-7-4) at Edmonton Oilers (11-23-3), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - It didn't take long for Alexander Steen to make the St. Louis Blues' investment in him pay off.
Steen looks to set a new career high for goals in a season on Saturday night as the Blues visit the struggling Edmonton Oilers.
The 29-year-old Steen officially signed a three-year contract extension on Thursday worth $17.4 million and went out that night and scored twice in a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
The extension was a no-brainer for the Blues as Steen leads the club with 24 goals, matching the previous career high he set over 68 games in 2009-10. The forward has 38 points in 34 games this season.
Jaden Schwartz, Chris Stewart and Maxim Lapierre all scored for the Blues and Brenden Morrow tallied his 300th assist to help the Blues snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 4-1-1 in the last six games.
T.J. Oshie added two assists and Jaroslav Halak came up with 25 saves.
"We stuck with it and just played the way we should be playing, the way we were playing early in the season," said Steen.
St. Louis, which played on Thursday without Vladimir Sobotka and David Backes due to upper-body injuries, is expected to give Brian Elliott his 10th start of the season tonight. He is 4-3-0 with a 3.05 goals against average in his career versus the Oilers.
Edmonton is set to play two straight and three of its next four at home after going winless on a four-game road trip. The Oilers have lost a season high- tying five straight overall following a 4-2 setback to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both finished with a goal and an assist for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves.
Edmonton has been outscored 18-6 over its losing streak.
"We played three good games on this trip. It was frustrating losing them, they were all close. We have to be the ones getting the empty-net goals, not them," said Nugent-Hopkins.
Ilya Bryzgalov may get the start for the Oilers and is 6-9-1 with a 2.96 GAA in his career when facing the Blues. Also helping Bryzgalov's case is the fact that Dubnyk is 0-7-0 with a 4.72 GAA in his career versus St. Louis.
Edmonton forward David Perron is set to play his former St. Louis club for the first time. He was a first-round pick by the Blues in 2007, taken 26th overall, and logged 84 goals, 114 assists and 198 points in 340 games before getting traded to the Oilers on July 10 for Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 second- round pick.
The Oilers had lost five straight to the Blues before notching a 3-0 victory in St. Louis on the most recent meeting on March 26.
The Blues are still 11-2-1 in the past 14 in the series and have won two straight and five of their last seven in Edmonton.
12/21 11:09:35 ET