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

30 SOG
37 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
STL
CBJ
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Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

Friday, 01.11.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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

The St. Louis Blues' recent offensive surge began with a big win over the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this week.

Looking for their second victory over Columbus in four days, the Blues also will try to extend their points streak to seven games when the teams meet at Nationwide Arena.

St. Louis' 107 goals this season is one better than Columbus (19-18-6), and both are among the league's lowest-scoring teams. The Blues (22-14-5), though, seemed to have found their offense of late.

After scoring its most goals in almost a year during a 6-1 home win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, St. Louis continued its surge Thursday with a 4-2 victory over Dallas.

On Friday, the Blues will try for their fourth straight victory overall and third in a row against their struggling division rivals. St. Louis, however, has lost each of its last three visits to Columbus, and each team has won a pair of home games in the season series.

St. Louis is 4-0-2 since losing three in a row late last month. The Blues managed just 11 games in seven games from Dec. 22-Jan. 5 prior to their scoring outburst.

The Blues, who haven't made the playoffs since 2003-04, are playing much better at the halfway point now, compared to last season when they were 13-21-7 at the midway mark. St. Louis, though, finished 27-16-7 after winning just seven times in its first 32 games of 2006-07.

"I think we picked up where we left off," said Manny Legace, who made 25 saves to win a season-high fourth straight game Thursday, hours after he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. "I don't think we surprise teams any more."

Legace, who has allowed three goals in last 319 minutes, could be back in net Friday looking for a seventh consecutive win overall and on the road. He's 8-1-0 with a tie and a 2.14 goals-against average in Columbus.

Brad Boyes had two goals - increasing his team-leading total to 23 - and Paul Kariya added a goal and two assists Thursday for St. Louis. The team's top two scorers have combined for two goals and three assists against Columbus this season.

Andy McDonald had two goals and an assist in Tuesday's win over the Blue Jackets, who have posted a pair of 3-0 victories at home over the Blues this season.

Pascal Leclaire, who leads the NHL with seven shutouts, was in net for both wins over St. Louis and could start Friday after he was scratched Tuesday because of a viral infection. Fredrik Norrena made 25 saves against the Blues in that contest, but Columbus fell for the second straight game and third time in its last four contests.

"We were beat," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said of the team's most recent loss. "They were better for 60 minutes. They were better in every period. We didn't have enough good players."

Rick Nash, the Blue Jackets' lone All-Star representative, looks to score a goal in his sixth consecutive game 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%
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