After stumbling in the opener of a four-game road trip, the St. Louis Blues aim to regain their footing on Wednesday when they visit the Calgary Flames. A sputtering offense continued to plague St. Louis on Sunday as it was shut out for the second time in four games following a 4-0 setback to Winnipeg in the back end of a home-and-home series.
Perhaps visiting the Flames can light a spark under Blues standout forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who has shown flashes with seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last 11 games. The 26-year-old Russian fared considerably better in his first two meetings with Calgary, notching two assists in St. Louis’ 5-2 home win at Scottrade Center on Oct. 25 before scoring a pair of goals in a 7-4 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome on Nov. 13. Mark Jankowski scored two goals and set up another in the more recent encounter between the teams and also recorded a three-point performance (one goal, two assists) in Calgary’s 6-1 rout of Vancouver on Sunday. The Flames snapped a three-game skid with the win and also ended an 0-for-23 drought on the power play after Micheal Ferland capped the scoring midway into the third period.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), Sportsnet360 (Calgary)
ABOUT THE BLUES (22-11-2): Brayden Schenn, who leads the team in goals (16), assists (22) and points (38), has just one assist in his last four games after scoring six goals and setting up another in his previous four. The 26-year-old aims to return to his productive ways versus Calgary, against which he has recorded a pair of two-assist performances this season. Fellow forward Alex Steen has torched the Flames for six (two goals, four assists) of his 17 points this season.
ABOUT THE FLAMES (17-14-3): Sam Bennett scored a goal and set up three others to record his second career four-point performance and increase his point total to 12 (four goals, eight assists) in his last 11 games last time out. The 21-year-old was thrilled with the output of his team, however, as it registered at least six goals in a game for the fourth time this season. “You like to see that, when lots of guys are getting on the board. It’s good for everyone’s confidence,” said Bennett, who collected a goal and an assist versus St. Louis in last month’s encounter.
1. Calgary C Sean Monahan (team-leading 17 goals) has been held off the scoresheet in five straight games overall and both contests versus St. Louis this season.
2. The Blues boast the West’s best road record (10-4-2) while the Flames have struggled mightily at home (8-10-0).
3. Calgary captain D Mark Giordano scored twice versus Vancouver to increase his point total to six (three goals, three assists) in the past eight games.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Flames 2