St. Louis Blues (23-13-3) at Arizona Coyotes (15-19-4)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 6, 2015, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Arizona Coyotes +140 / St. Louis Blues -155 --- Over/Under: 5.5
Things haven’t been easy for the St. Louis Blues lately. Losers of six of their last seven contests heading into their match up with the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night the Blues were in desperate need for a win. With the way things were going for St. Louis at the start it would have been understandable if they had gotten frustrated, but instead they kept going until they had a dominating win. St. Louis came out flying, out shooting the Sharks 14-1 to start the game, but the bounces weren’t going their way. That was until T.J. Oshie chipped one home for his eighth goal of the season to put the Blues in front. The lead wouldn’t last however as the Sharks would score with under three minutes remaining in the period and then take the lead just 40 seconds later. It looked like it would be a frustrating intermission for St. Louis but they were able to answer right back with less than a minute to play on Alexander Steen’s 10th goal of the year. Oshie would add his second of the night in the second period to give the Blues the lead and Kevin Shattenkirk scored with just nine seconds remaining in the period to give the Blues a 4-2 lead heading into the third. In the third period it was all St. Louis as they got goals from Jaden Schwartz, Dmitrij Jaskin, and another from Oshie to complete the hat trick in the 7-2 win. It was a huge win for many reasons for St. Louis but the most important thing for this club has to be gaining some confidence after an extremely rough patch. The Blues would love to wrap up this road trip with another victory before heading home for a lengthy seven game home stand.
Their opponent on Tuesday night will be a club that at one point this season seemed like a guaranteed victory. Lately however the Arizona Coyotes have been playing some pretty good hockey. Winners of four of their last five games the Coyotes have out scored their opponents 17-13 during the stretch, but that includes getting blow out by the Dallas Stars 6-0 on Wednesday night. That was the outlier for the Coyotes who have still been inconsistent offensively but have at least been putting the puck in the net a little more than usual. Saturday night they got their six game home stand off to a good start with a victory over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets. Tobias Rieder got the Coyotes on the board with his fifth goal of the season but early in the second the Blue Jackets would answer back with two quick goals to take the lead. That’s when Arizona’s power play would begin to take over the hockey game. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Sam Gagner both scored with the man advantage and Martin Hanzal would add a late goal to give the Coyotes a 4-2 lead heading into the third. Kyle Chipchura would add a goal and Gagner would add another power play marker as the Coyotes would go 3-for-4 with the man advantage on the night in the 6-3 win.
This is a tough one because the Coyotes have been playing better hockey of late and despite their recent victory over the Sharks the Blues have been in a bit of a rut. St. Louis is a little heavier favorite here which makes it less comfortable but the Blues should have enough to find a way in this one.