Columbus
Blue Jackets
33-42-7
St. Louis
Blues
34-35-13

29 SOG
26 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CBJ
STL
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Blue Jackets-Blues Preview

Thursday, 11.09.2006 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets-Blues Preview
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. St. Louis Blues

Two teams struggling for a victory meet when the St. Louis Blues host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Neither team has played since last Saturday and both rank near the bottom of the league in both points and goals.

St. Louis, which is wrapping up a three-game homestand, has lost four of its past five games, including a 3-2 defeat to Calgary on Saturday in which the Blues battled back from a 2-0 deficit, only to give up a goal with less than five minutes remaining.

"We had them," Blues forward Bill Guerin said. "We battled back and we carried the momentum. We just didn't finish it off."

St. Louis has 11 points, two more than Columbus. The Blues are 12th in the Western Conference while the Blue Jackets are 13th.

Columbus (4-7-1) ranks last in the league with 28 goals scored. Over their last six games, the Blue Jackets have scored just 11 goals, with five coming in a shootout win over Calgary on Nov. 1.

Columbus lost 4-1 at Detroit on Saturday, falling apart after tying the game at a goal apiece on Ron Hainsey's power-play score at 6:32 of the second period.

"As soon as they scored the second goal, it was over," Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said. "The guys stopped competing and I don't know why."

Rick Nash, who led Columbus in goals scored the last two seasons, has only three goals so far this season and hasn't scored since Oct. 9, a span of nine games.

The Blue Jackets received more bad news when they learned defenseman Duvie Westcott will miss the next six to eight weeks with a broken joint in his left index finger.

Westcott, who's third on the team with eight points, suffered the injury in the Nov. 1 win over the Flames.

Columbus went 5-2-1 in last season's series with St. Louis (4-6-3), quite a turnaround from previous seasons. Before last year, the Blue Jackets had won only five of 21 all-time meetings between the teams.

St. Louis is 11-3-1 all-time versus Columbus at the Scottrade Center.

The Blues hope their offensive stars can continue to score against the Blue Jackets.

Guerin has three goals in his last two games, and with seven in the first 13 contests is more than halfway to equaling his total from 70 games with Dallas last year. Guerin had 13 goals in 2005-06, the lowest full-season total of the 15-year veteran's career.

Keith Tkachuk has three goals and three assists during a four-game scoring streak and leads St. Louis with 13 points on the season.

Tkachuk has 29 points in 25 career games against Columbus, while Guerin has 12 goals and 20 points in 15 games versus the Blue Jackets, including two hat tricks.

Following this game, the Blues play six of their next seven on the road.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 27 '07CBJ 4 at STL 1F. Modin
Mar 25 '07STL 1 at CBJ 4M. Malhotra
Feb 20 '07CBJ 4 at STL 5 - SOL. Stempniak
Feb 14 '07STL 4 at CBJ 2D. Backes
Jan 09 '07STL 4 at CBJ 3 - SOL. Stempniak
Dec 09 '06CBJ 5 at STL 1S. Fedorov
Nov 22 '06STL 4 at CBJ 3 - SOB. Guerin
Nov 09 '06CBJ 4 at STL 2D. Fritsche
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