Carolina Hurricanes vs. St. Louis Blues Pick & Prediction JANUARY 6th 2024

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Not only are the Carolina Hurricanes riding their best stretch of the season, they also will arrive for Saturday night’s game against the St. Louis Blues in Raleigh, N.C., coming off one of their best periods.

The Hurricanes scored five times in the third period Friday night to rally past the host Washington Capitals 6-2. That gave Carolina its season-high fifth victory in a row.

“We always talk about sticking with our game, and we didn’t get off track,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I loved the way we played. All of a sudden we got it going (in the third).”

Forwards Sebastian Aho and Andei Svechnikov have been on point-producing sprees for the Hurricanes. Svechnikov has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in the last six games, all of which have been multi-point outings for him, while Aho has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) during that same span.

St. Louis is trying to build the type of momentum the Hurricanes are carrying.

Center Robert Thomas has scored in three consecutive games for the Blues, including in Thursday night’s 2-1 home victory against the Vancouver Canucks. He has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last six games. He earned an All-Star Game nod this week as well.

“He has been a catalyst for this team on both ends of the ice,” St. Louis coach Drew Bannister said. “He has had tough matchups every night, has played very well, and he has thrived in that role.”

Thomas has shared the credit with teammates for his production. He leads the team in goals (16), assists (25) and points (41).

Winger Pavel Buchnevich said the Blues have learned to play through rough patches.

“We give up one goal, it’s not a big deal,” Buchnevich said. “We keep playing and keep playing our way.”

The Hurricanes had forward Vasily Ponomarev in the lineup for his NHL debut Friday night in Washington when forwards Martin Necas and Stefan Noesen were out with ailments. Ponomarev racked up a goal and an assist.

“We know he plays hard and he makes plays,” Brind’Amour said. “He has been around awhile, and he has been waiting for his time. He was impactful. You never know what you’re going to get in that situation.”

Saturday night’s game won’t feature the return of former Carolina All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk, who was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury this week by the Blues. He was twice named the team Most Valuable Player for the Hurricanes.

Forward Jakub Vrana is back with the Blues after being recalled from the American Hockey League.

The Blues have surrendered 119 goals in 37 games this season. Carolina has allowed 120 goals in 39 games.

This will be the only road game for the Blues in the first 17 days of January. They’re 7-11-1 away from home this season, and Carolina is 10-3-3 on home ice.

The Hurricanes and Blues will meet in a rematch April 12 at St. Louis.

–Field Level Media

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