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

18 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CBJ
STL
game preview

Blue Jackets-Blues Preview

Tuesday, 01.08.2008 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends


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

The way the St. Louis Blues are playing right now, one goal always might be enough for either team to win.

St. Louis' struggling offense will try to break out of a lengthy slump and goaltender Manny Legace looks to continue an impressive shutout streak when the Central Division-rival Columbus Blue Jackets visit on Tuesday night.

In the last seven games, the Blues (20-14-5) have scored just 11 goals en route to a 2-2-3 record, but both wins have come by shutouts from Legace, named the NHL's first star of the week on Monday.

On Saturday, Legace made 27 saves and Lee Stempniak scored in a 1-0 home win over Carolina.

"Our goaltending was solid and our defense got better as the game went on," Blues coach Andy Murray said.

Legace has not allowed a goal in more than 140 minutes, a streak that includes parts of four games. He shut out Detroit on 31 saves in a 2-0 win on Dec. 31, and did not allow a goal in the first period of a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton last Wednesday before being removed due to illness.

"I think we get lucky to have Manny and (backup goalie) Hannu (Toivonen), who keep us in a lot of games without having to score a bunch of goals," Stempniak said.

In their last seven overall, the Blues have played two in overtime and one in a shootout, but lost all three. They're also just 2-4-3 their last nine home games.

Brad Boyes continues to lead the Blues with 21 goals, but has none in his last seven. Paul Kairya has failed to record an assist in in his last eight, but has team highs with 23 and 34 points. A bigger concern for St. Louis, though, may be its power play unit - the Blues have gone seven games without a man-advantage goal, failing to convert their last 28 chances, and have the NHL's worst power-play at 11.8 percent.

They've already been blanked twice this season in Columbus by Pascal Leclaire, but the NHL's leader with seven shutouts left in the second period of Saturday's 3-2 loss to San Jose due to illness and will not be available for this contest.

Fredrik Norrena, who's 3-1-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average in his career against St. Louis - will start and be backed up by 19-year-old rookie Steve Mason, who was recalled from the Ontario Hockey League on an emergency basis after he led Canada its fourth straight gold medal at the World Junior Championships.

Columbus (19-17-6), which seeks a split of its four-game road trip, is just 6-11-2 there this season. The 3-2 loss at Scottrade Center on Nov. 16 in the teams' most recent meeting ended a four-game winning streak against the Blues and a six-game streak of earning at least a point in St. Louis.

Rick Nash, who leads the Blue Jackets with 21 goals and 36 points, has found the back of the net in each of his last four games against St. Louis.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 06 '08STL 4 at CBJ 1B. Boyes
Apr 05 '08CBJ 0 at STL 3B. Boyes
Feb 17 '08CBJ 1 at STL 5D. Perron
Jan 11 '08STL 4 at CBJ 6D. Fritsche
Jan 08 '08CBJ 1 at STL 6A. McDonald
Nov 16 '07CBJ 2 at STL 3J. Mayers
Nov 04 '07STL 0 at CBJ 3M. Malhotra
Oct 25 '07STL 0 at CBJ 3J. Boll
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
Columbusbluejackets.com is the official Web site of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets and columbusbluejackets.com are trademarks of The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2009 Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved. View the Columbus Blue Jackets Privacy Policy AdChoices NHL.com Terms of Service
Please use the feedback form if you have any recommendations or comments.