The red-hot St. Louis Blues approach Valentine's Day loving life as they visit the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. St. Louis has won seven straight games and is 11-2-1 in its last 14 after defeating New Jersey 8-3 on Tuesday with rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington continuing the eye-popping start to his career.
The Blues suddenly find themselves at the top of the Western Conference wild-card standings and only two points behind third-place Dallas in the Central Division. "I think we've started actually playing for each other," St. Louis center Oskar Sundqvist told reporters. "Actually starting working for each other instead of working for the individual. I think that's turned it around. ..." Binnington made his debut Jan. 14, 2016 in a relief appearance, and is 10-1-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .927 save percentage since resuming his NHL career Dec. 16 while his six straight victories are one shy of the club record set twice by Brent Johnson (2000, 2000-01). The Coyotes prevailed 5-2 at Vegas on Tuesday for their second straight victory and sit four points out of the second wild-card spot - six behind the Blues.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), FS Arizona
ABOUT THE BLUES (28-22-5): Vladimir Tarasenko (team-high 22 goals, 43 points) extended his point streak to nine games (seven goals, 14 points) with two assists Tuesday. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (eight goals, 24 points) recorded his first multi-goal game of the season with a pair versus New Jersey and added an assist during a plus-6 performance - the first St. Louis player to record such a rating since Rick Lapointe and Bill Stewart in an 8-2 victory over Vancouver on Nov. 11, 1980. Jayden Schwartz, who recorded 24 goals last season and 104 during his previous five campaigns, scored for the first time in 23 games Tuesday and has four in 42 contests in 2018-19.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (25-26-5): Clayton Keller leads the team with 38 points but hasn't scored in eight games, recording four assists during that span. Alex Galchenyuk (club-high 12 goals, 30 points) scored three times in the last two games and has four in his past five contests. Christian Fischer, Conor Garland, Keller, Richard Panik, Brad Richardson (injured reserve) and Derek Stepan have each scored 11 goals with Panik scoring Tuesday for the first time in 10 games.
1. Blues D Carl Gunnarsson (plus-11) missed his fourth straight game Tuesday while LW David Perron (17 goals, 35 points) missed his ninth in a row as both players continue to recover from upper-body injuries.
2. St. Louis is 1-for-15 on the power play during its winning streak while Arizona is 3-for-6 with the man advantage in its last two games.
3. The Coyotes have won three straight meetings, including 6-1 on Dec. 1 in the first of three encounters this season behind a goal and two assists from Keller.
PREDICTION: Blues 3, Coyotes 2 Bet Now
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