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St. Louis
Blues
33-36-13
Columbus
Blue Jackets
34-36-12

36 SOG
28 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
STL
CBJ
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Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

Associated Press

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

The Blues hoped signing Paul Kariya in the offseason would help bolster their offense. He has played well, but also hasn't been the only contributor to St. Louis' improved unit.

The top line of Kariya, Brad Boyes and Keith Tkachuk looks to continue its offensive outburst and help the Blues keep up their hot start when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

After being tied with Philadelphia with 214 goals in 2006-07 - fourth-fewest in the league - St. Louis (5-2-0) signed Kariya, a seven-time All-Star who led Nashville in scoring each of the last two seasons.

Kariya had a goal and a season-high three assists in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Anaheim, giving him two goals and nine assists in his first seven games with the Blues.

St. Louis has scored 23 goals this season as its top line has amassed 28 points.

Tkachuk had a goal and two assists against the Ducks, raising his totals to four goals and five assists on the young season.

Boyes had his second two-goal game of 2007-08, after posting just one multigoal game all of last season.

"It's taken me 21 games just to score one (before)," said Boyes, who spent 62 games with Boston last season before being traded to the Blues in February. "But I come here and it's been good. It's easy when you're playing with those guys, but I still think we can improve."

St. Louis goaltender Manny Legace, who had 14 saves on Tuesday, is 4-1-0 with a 1.61 goals-against average since Oct. 10. Legace went 4-1-0 with a 3.26 GAA versus the Blue Jackets last season, and is 13-4-0 with one tie, two shutouts and a 2.49 GAA lifetime against them.

Kariya recorded five goals and five assists in eight games against the Blue Jackets in 2006-07. He has 14 goals and 20 assists in 31 career games against Columbus.

The Blue Jackets (4-3-1) defeated Chicago 7-4 on Tuesday, equaling their offensive output from the previous four games combined.

Columbus killed all six of the Blackhawks' power-play chances, and has the top-ranked penalty killing unit in the league, stopping 41 of 44 (93.2 percent) of its opponents' chances. The Blues, meanwhile, are second in the league at 91.4 percent (32-for-33).

Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash had two goals and an assist against Chicago, and has five goals and three assists during a four-game point streak.

"I don't even know if Rick Nash is on a hot streak," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's like a horse, and when he's playing this way he's hard to stop."

Nash scored a team-high 27 goals last season, including four goals and three assists in six games against St. Louis.

Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire, who has already posted three shutouts this season, rested on Tuesday. He is 3-2-2 with a 2.53 lifetime GAA against the Blues.

These teams split last season's eight-game series.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 06 '08 STL 4 at CBJ 1 B. Boyes
Apr 05 '08 CBJ 0 at STL 3 B. Boyes
Feb 17 '08 CBJ 1 at STL 5 D. Perron
Jan 11 '08 STL 4 at CBJ 6 D. Fritsche
Jan 08 '08 CBJ 1 at STL 6 A. McDonald
Nov 16 '07 CBJ 2 at STL 3 J. Mayers
Nov 04 '07 STL 0 at CBJ 3 M. Malhotra
Oct 25 '07 STL 0 at CBJ 3 J. Boll
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