St. Louis Blues (2-0-0-0 SU, 2-0 PL, 2-0 O/U) vs. New York Islanders (1-1-0-0 SU, 1-1 PL, 1-1 O/U)
NHL: Monday, October 9, 2017, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, 1 pm ET
Lines: St. Louis -105, NY Islanders -115; Over/Under: 5.5
It’s an inter-conference tilt on the ice in the Big Apple on Columbus Day. The St. Louis Blues are on the road as they take on the New York Islanders Monday afternoon. St. Louis remained unbeaten as they downed the Stars 4-2 at home Saturday night. New York broke into the win column as they took down the Sabres 6-3 at home Saturday night. The teams split two meetings last season, each winning at home: the Islanders claimed a 3-2 victory here in the last matchup on December 8, 2016.
St. Louis Blues Hope to Contend in Central Division
St. Louis started their 2017-18 season off right with back to back wins to start the year. The Blues look to build off that and be a contender in the Central Division once again this season. St. Louis enters this game 4th in the league in goals per game with 4.5 and 12th in goals against as they allow three per contest. The Blues are 4th in power play percentage as they cash in 33.3 percent of their chances with the man advantage. St. Louis is 19th in the league on the penalty kill as they successfully kill off 77.8 percent of their shorthanded situations.
The Blues were outshot by a wide margin but jumped ahead early and held the Stars at bay to get the win. St. Louis faced a 12-9 disadvantage in shots on goal in the opening period but bolted to a 3-0 advantage. Carl Gunnarson opened the scoring with his first goal of the season at 9:50 with assists from Paul Stastny and Vladimir Sobotka. Just 1:24 later, at the 11:14 mark, Joel Edmundson scored his first of the year on assists from Alex Pietrangelo and Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz made it a 3-0 game at the 14:50 mark with his first of the year on assists from Dmitrijj Jaskin and Brayden Schenn. In the second period, the Blues were outshot 16-8 but neither team lit the lamp, leaving the score 3-0 after 40 minutes. During the final stanza, the Blues were outshot 12-4 and outscored 2-1 but their early lead stood up. With the lead 3-1, Vladimir Tarasenko scored his first on the power play at 8:30 to make it a 4-1 game. Pietrangelo and Schenn assisted on the goal. The Blues were outshot 40-21 but Jake Allen’s 38 saves were enough to get the win.
New York Islanders Seek Second Straight Win
New York rebounded from a season-opening loss where they were whitewashed by Columbus on the road. The Islanders picked up a win in their home opener to even their record. New York is 12th in the league in goals per game with three per contest and stand 20th in goals against per game by allowing four per night. The Islanders are 26th in the league on the power play as they are connecting at a zero percent clip. New York is 15th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully kill off 83.3 percent of their shorthanded situations.
In the opening period, the Islanders were outshot 11-9 but skated off with a 1-0 advantage. John Tavares dented the twine at the 1:50 mark to make it a 1-0 game on an assist from Jordan Eberle. The second period saw a 14-11 edge for New York in shots on goal and a 3-2 edge in scoring in the period. Tavares scored his second of the year at 5:13, shorthanded, unassisted, to make it a 2-0 advantage. Fifty seconds later, Casey Cizikas scored his first of the year, a shorthanded marker, at 6:03 to make it a 3-0 game off an assist from Andrew Ladd. Josh Bailey made it a 4-0 game at the 7:00 mark off assists from Josh Ho-Sang and Jason Chimera. The Islanders gave up a pair of shorthanded goals before the second period was over to lead 4-2 after 40 minutes. New York held a 10-7 advantage in shots in the third period, outscoring the Sabres 2-1 to get the win. Anthony Beauvillier scored his first of the year at 5:39 on assists from Nick Leddy and Cizikas to make it 5-2. Cizikas scored his second of the game and the year, off assists from Tavares and Bailey, into an empty net at 19:32 to close the scoring. Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves to pick up the win.
- Blues are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Metropolitan
- Blues are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference
- Blues are 4-1 in their last 5 Monday games
- Islanders are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Central
The Islanders may have won their home opener but it was a sloppy contest that saw the teams combine for four shorthanded goals. That’s not something you normally see and it’s not a compelling look at New York’s special teams. St. Louis has been good in their two season-opening wins and look to build off that momentum here. The Blues have good depth in scoring, a solid blue line and a very good goaltender between the pipes. That’s enough to push them to a victory here to remain unbeaten.