The St. Louis Blues will vie for the second 4-0-0 start in franchise history on Tuesday as they begin a three-game trek through Western Canada with a date versus the Vancouver Canucks. St. Louis swept a three-game season series against Vancouver in 2015-16, with the latter two victories coming via a shutout.
Paul Stastny extended his point streak to three games by collecting a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. The 30-year-old Quebec native has recorded 38 points (nine goals, 29 assists) in 46 career encounters versus the Canucks — with five assists coming last season. While the Blues are looking to match the start of their 2013-14 campaign by winning a fourth straight, Vancouver has rode the hot hand of Brandon Sutter to a fast start of its own. Sutter scored the shootout winner in a 2-1 win over Calgary in the season opener on Saturday before netting the overtime winner versus his former team in a 4-3 overtime triumph over Carolina the following night.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), SNV (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE BLUES (3-0-0): Left wing Jaden Schwartz is making strong strides in his bid to return from a hyperextended left elbow during a practice on Sept. 29. “I don’t know, it feels better,” said Schwartz, who was expected to be miss a minimum of four weeks. “We don’t have a game circled yet, so just trying to get the timing and feel more comfortable, but it’s feeling better.” Centers Jori Lehtera and Kyle Brodziak and defenseman Carl Gunnarsson are all considered day-to-day with upper-body injuries.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (2-0-0): Vancouver boasts balance scoring with 10 players recording at least one point, including Loui Eriksson. Signed to a six-year, $36 million deal in the offseason, Eriksson has just one assist while playing with fellow Swedes Henrik and Daniel Sedin after scoring 30 goals for the second time in his career in 2015-16 with Boston. Eriksson inadvertently put the puck in his own net against the Flames on Saturday, but veteran Ryan Miller was credited with a shutout and is expected to be in net on Tuesday, looking to improve his record versus St. Louis (2-6-0, 2.91 goals-against average).
1. Vancouver has won both contests in 2016-17 despite trailing after two periods. Last season, the Canucks were 3-30-1 in the same situation.
2. St. Louis is 9-3-2 on the road in October over the last four seasons.
3. The Canucks are 0-for-6 on the power play while the Blues have thwarted their last 10 short-handed chances.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Canucks 2