Brayden Schenn hasn’t needed much time to get acclimated to his new surroundings following an offseason trade, as the 26-year-old has recorded five goals and 10 assists on his career-best seven-game point streak. Schenn looks to extend that stretch and drill the Edmonton Oilers for the second time in under a week when the red-hot Blues open a five-game homestand on Tuesday.
“I‘m just trying to be a piece of the puzzle,” said Schenn, who has fit in nicely since being acquired from Philadelphia in June for No. 27 overall pick Morgan Frost, Jori Lehtera and a conditional first-round pick. Schenn continued his torrid stretch with two goals and an assist in St. Louis’ 4-1 win at Edmonton on Thursday before netting the overtime winner two nights later in a 4-3 victory versus Vancouver. While the Blues have won nine of 12 overall and earned points in 11 of their last 13 home encounters with the Oilers, Edmonton fell for the fourth time in five outings with a 6-3 setback to Dallas on Saturday in the opener of a five-game trek. Reigning Hart Trophy recipient Connor McDavid netted a goal and set up two others to give him 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his past 13 games, although he was held off the scoresheet and finished with a minus-2 rating in that encounter with the Blues.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet West (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE OILERS (7-11-2): Although McDavid missed Monday’s practice with an illness, coach Todd McLellan wasn’t so much concerned with his team’s 27th-ranked offense as opposed to its 23rd-ranked defense. “The commitment to coverage. It’s beyond goaltending. It’s team-wide and it’s something we need to fix,” McLellan said. “We’ve addressed it many times. The group is going to have to respond at some point and finally get it.” Cam Talbot yielded all four goals to the Blues in the first encounter after permitting that total - on 88 shots - en route to sweeping St. Louis in three meetings last season.
ABOUT THE BLUES (15-5-1): After joining his team during its three-game trip through western Canada, two-time All-Star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is expected to make his season debut on Tuesday after sustaining a fractured left ankle while blocking a shot during training camp. “It was good to get on that road trip and skate and practice and get that stuff going,” the 34-year-old Edmonton native said. “It’s been a long time, especially at the start of the year when you miss training camp and stuff. I‘m excited, and hopefully just jump in and not interfere with what’s going on here.” Bouwmeester will be looking to aid Jake Allen, who turned aside 29 of 30 shots on Thursday to snap a personal three-game skid to the Oilers.
1. Schenn’s line consisting of RW Vladimir Tarasenko and LW Jaden Schwartz has combined for 74 points (28 goals, 46 assists) and a plus-44 rating.
2. St. Louis native LW Patrick Maroon has answered a seven-game point streak by being held off the scoresheet in seven of his last eight contests.
3. Blues C Paul Stastny has six assists in his last three games.
PREDICTION: Blues 4, Oilers 2