NHL Previews

Blues vs. Avalanche Preview and Predictions

By Gracenote
PEPSI CENTER DENVER
Complete
St. Louis Blues
ML: -125
3
Sat Feb 16 03:00 PM
Colorado Avalanche
ML: 105
0


Playing away from home has done nothing to slow down the rampaging St. Louis Blues, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak in more than 16 years. The Blues have ripped off eight consecutive victories to move into third place in the Central Division as they resume a three-game road trip with a visit to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon.

Six of the last eight victories have come on the road for St. Louis, which will be looking to win nine straight for the first time since early in the 2002-03 season. "It's an important time of the year for us," said forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who is on a spree with 12 goals in 14 games. "It's time to step up like all our leaders and everybody else in this locker room. We want to get in the playoffs, so that's what we're playing for." While the Blues have vaulted into the postseason picture, the Avalanche have been in a spiral of two-plus months that dropped them six points behind St. Louis. Colorado ended an eight-game slide (0-5-3) with a 4-1 victory at Winnipeg on Thursday, marking only its sixth win in the past 28 games (6-16-6).

TV: 3 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), Altitude (Colorado) 

ABOUT THE BLUES (29-22-5): Tarasenko, who notched at least 33 goals in each of the past four seasons, scored twice Thursday to extend his point streak to a career-high 10 games, a span in which he has collected 17 points. In eight games since they were put together, the line of Tarasenko, Ryan O'Reilly and Brayden Schenn have erupted for 33 points. "We try to create some offense. "Sometimes from our effort, sometimes from just simple plays," said Tarasenko, who has eight goals in that span. "Brayden and Ryan are good players and when we put a puck deep, we have a chance to get it back. So that's what we try to do."



ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (23-23-11): Center Dominic Toninato had a forgettable first season with Colorado in 2017-18, failing to score a goal and managing just a pair of assists in 37 games, but he finally found the net in his season debut Thursday. "It felt great getting the first one out of the way and I can just concentrate on playing my game," said Toninato, a fifth-round draft pick in 2012. "We've been struggling for that, so it was nice to get the win and hopefully we can get rolling now." Captain Gabriel Landeskog also scored Thursday, ending a six-game drought to boost his team-leading total to 30.

OVERTIME

1. Blues G Jordan Binnington won his seventh consecutive start Thursday to match a franchise rookie record.

2. Avalanche C Mikko Rantanen has four goals and 10 points in 12 games against St. Louis.

3. Blues F Robert Thomas has five assists during a four-game point streak.

PREDICTION: Blues 4, Avalanche 3   Bet Now


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