Preview: Blues at Red Wings
The St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings were extremely generous in their last outings as the former allowed eight goals in its fourth setback in five games while the latter was gouged for seven en route to losing its third straight contest. The Blues look to tighten up defensively Wednesday when they open a three-game road trip against the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Ryan O’Reilly increased his team-leading goal (12) and assist (14) totals with one of each in Saturday’s 8-4 setback versus Winnipeg, but that performance was dwarfed by the epic five-goal effort from Patrik Laine. Fellow forward Vladimir Tarasenko tallied for the first time in 11 games for the Blues, who will bid to improve on a disastrous 2-4-2 mark away from the Gateway City. While St. Louis is hemorrhaging a 25th-ranked 3.32 goals per game heading into Tuesday’s action, Detroit isn’t faring much better with 3.25 per contest (22nd). Anthony Mantha unleashed a career-high 10 shots and netted a pair of third-period goals in Monday’s 7-5 setback to Columbus to move within one of speedy Andreas Athanasiou (10) for the team lead in tallies.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE BLUES (8-11-3): Jake Allen is rather fortunate to boast a 6-6-3 mark despite a 3.27 goals-against average and .896 save percentage in 17 matches this season. The 28-year-old has posted considerably better statistics in five career meetings with Detroit, going 2-0-3, 2.13, .916. Brayden Schenn has recorded 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 16 career contests against the Red Wings while captain Alex Pietrangelo has 12 (two goals, 10 assists) in his last 14 versus the club.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (10-11-3): Frans Nielsen (zero goals, team-co-leading 14 assists) hasn’t been shy about setting up his teammates for goals, but the 34-year-old Dane wouldn’t mind finding the back of the net himself. “You want to get some goals for sure, but at the same time I think you can’t get frustrated about it,” Nielsen said after Tuesday’s practice at the Belfor Training Center. “I know it’s going to come. I just gotta keep playing my game and hopefully one turns into more.” Nielsen has rebounded nicely since returning from a concussion, recording eight assists and a plus-3 rating in his last nine games.
1. Athanasiou, who scored in the last meeting with St. Louis, has 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in his last 15 games overall.
2. The Blues outscored the Red Wings 8-2 to sweep the two-game season series in 2017-18.
3. Detroit G Jimmy Howard, who was pulled after yielding three goals on 16 shots in the first period Monday, owns a 13-9-2 career mark versus St. Louis.