Thu, 23 Jan 2020

Blues bid to stay hot at home vs. struggling Ducks

Field Level Media
13 Jan 2020, 08:19 GMT+10

The St. Louis Blues will try to maintain their home-ice dominance when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

The Western Conference-leading Blues have won eight straight games at Enterprise Center, where they are 16-4-3 this season.

"Last year, I don't think we were as good as we wanted to be at home," Blues forward Zach Sanford told reporters after the Blues posted a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

"This year, it's been a completely different story and it's been a lot of fun to win in front of these guys and hear the cheers, and we love the support we get and happy to give some love back."

The Blues are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games. They are tied with the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins for first overall in the NHL with 65 points.

"Let's keep improving," said Blues winger David Perron, who has eight goals and eight assists in his last 12 games. "If it means that we keep winning when we have a chance at being first, that'd be cool. I don't think the team has done that in a while here, too, so that's another thing we could add.

"But at the same time, I like how even keel we are. We come to the rink, it doesn't feel like we've won or lost five in a row or four in a row, whatever, or lost in four in row. It just feels like we want to improve. We're hungry, and it's nice."

The Ducks are 1-5-1 in the last seven games and 11-21-5 in their last 37. They started their five-game road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night, leaving coach Dallas Eakins fuming.

"The first period, it was fine," Eakins told reporters afterward. "To come out like that in second period and not be ready to compete for every inch on the ice and give up an inch on almost every shift, that's what you're going to get. That's what you get. You give an inch in this league and they're going to shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

"We just went out there and took up time on our shifts and that was the end of it. We woke up a little bit in the third. We can't do that. We're just not good enough yet to go out there and have one-off shifts. We have to be competitive -- compete, compete, compete, every single shift, to a man."

The Ducks beat the Blues 4-1 on Nov. 16 in the previous meeting between these teams. Derek Grant recorded a hat trick in that game and John Gibson made 37 saves.

Gibson is 4-5-1 in 10 career starts against the Blues with a .907 save percentage and 2.95 goals-against average.

Ducks top goal scorer Jakob Silfverberg has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury and forward Max Jones exited the Chicago game after being struck by a puck. The Ducks sent forward Troy Terry to San Diego of the American Hockey League before this road trip and promoted Chase De Leo.

Blues defenseman Colton Parayko has been sidelined by an upper-body injury. Rookie Niko Mikkola has replaced him in the lineup, playing ahead of veteran Carl Gunnarsson.

--Field Level Media

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