St. Louis Blues (21-16-4-1) vs. Anaheim Ducks (23-13-7-1)
When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 15, 2017
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
The Blues have lost their edge
After a poor showing in their last four games (1-3-0), the St. Louis Blues (21-16-5) will be looking to turn their miseries around with a couple of back-to-back road games against both Pacific Division leaders, meeting the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, with the game against the Anaheim Ducks scheduled barely 23 hours later. The Blues have been playing catch-up lately, conceding the first goal in eight of their past nine outings (4-5-0), in six of those doing so in the very first 5 minutes. St. Louis has also been outscored 30-21 in their last eight contests before the trip to San Jose, conceding no less than 17 goals in past four. That’s 4.25 per game!
Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko was coming into the back-to-back schedule as the leading scorer for the Blues with 20 goals on 43 points. He has collected 3 goals and 7 points in previous 11 career games against Anaheim. Goalie Jake Allen, meanwhile, was 17-11-3 for the current campaign with a 2.76 GAA and has a tremendous 4-0-0 performance total versus the Ducks with an astonishing 1.12 career GAA. The Blues were coming into Saturday, placed 15th in the league with 47 points from 42 games and had a pretty miserable 5-11-1 road record. They were netting the 10th highest amount of goals per game (2.79), conceding the 3rd highest quantity in their defensive zone (3.02). St. Louis was tied 7th with Anaheim in power play with a 22.1% success rate and ranked 6th in penalty kill with a convincing 84.7% proficiency.
The Ducks are not slowing down
The Anaheim Ducks (23-13-8) have been nothing short of impressive on the eve of their back-to-back weekend set against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday and the St. Louis Blues just 25 hours later. The Ducks were coming into the upcoming games after two straight wins, having five victories in their past six outings and proudly sitting on the top of Pacific Division, overtaking the San Jose Sharks, who are two points behind, but with two games in hand. Ryan Kesler was entering the weekend as Anaheim’s top point-guy with 17 goals and 19 assists. Rickard Rakell had bagged 17 goals as well, notching up 25 overall points, while Corey Perry had 32 points with 8 goals to boot.
Goalie John Gibson, who registered his 100th NHL game during the 4-1 win at the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, had convincingly gone 7-1-3 in his past 11 games before the trip to Arizona, securing a 17-10-7 season performance with a 2.34 GAA. He is 1-1-0 against St. Louis with a 2.46 career GAA. The Ducks were entering the weekend, sitting 8th in the league with 54 points from 44 games, and had a solid 14-5-2 home record. They were netting the 14th lowest amount of goals per game (2.66) and ranked 11th in least goals allowed per contest, conceding 2.57 on average. Anaheim’s power play stood out as the 7th best in the NHL with a 22.1% success rate, while their penalty kill was the 15th most effective at 82.0%.
- Blues are 1-4 in their last 5 road games.
- Blues are 1-4 in their last 5 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation.
- Blues are 1-8 in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Ducks are 5-1 in their last 6 overall.
- Ducks are 8-2 in their last 10 home games.
With St. Louis showing some really poor hockey on the road, recording just five wins from 17 away contests before the game in San Jose, it is really hard not to favor Anaheim here. The Ducks have been exciting and pretty consistent for the whole season. And though both teams have split the wins from their past six meetings in equal parts, Anaheim is sure to dominate this one…