Blues look to rebound at Devils
The St. Louis Blues were not able to produce a positive result in the opener of their two-game road trip, but they received a desired outcome a few hours later.
The playoff-bound Blues (41-28-8) look to rebound from seeing an early two-goal advantage go by the boards when they visit the New Jersey Devils (29-40-9) on Saturday.
St. Louis, which dropped a 4-2 decision to the New York Rangers on Friday, clinched a postseason berth for the seventh time in eight years after Colorado skated to a 3-2 shootout victory over Arizona later that night.
Vladimir Tarasenko reached the 30-goal plateau for the fifth consecutive season and David Perron also tallied on Friday, but the Blues saw their four-game winning streak come to a halt.
It wasn't for a lack of trying, however, as St. Louis registered 46 shots on goal against the Rangers.
"That's a disappointing loss. We had a good start obviously coming with the lead, but we just deviated from our game plan a little too much," said Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly, who sits one goal shy of matching his career high of 28 set in 2013-14 with Colorado.
St. Louis coach Craig Berube was more succinct in his assessment.
"In the end, when you almost get 50 shots on net, you got to capitalize on your chances. We didn't do that," Berube said.
Offense wasn't an issue in the Blues' first encounter with the Devils, as captain Alex Pietrangelo and Ivan Barbashev each tallied twice and had an assist as St. Louis set a season high in goals with an 8-3 romp on Feb. 12.
Tarasenko, who had two assists in the victory versus New Jersey, has scored 20 of his 30 goals on the road this season.
Jake Allen likely will get the nod on Saturday afternoon after rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington turned aside 21 shots versus the Rangers.
The 28-year-old Allen has surrendered just 13 goals en route to losing five of his last six decisions overall, but is 6-0-0 with two shutouts, a 1.17 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in six career matches with the Devils.
New Jersey was shut out for the second time in six games (2-4-0) and fourth time in March with a 4-0 setback in Detroit on Friday.
Cory Schneider, who sports a 3-6-1 career mark versus St. Louis despite posting a 2.13 GAA and .930 save percentage, likely will man the crease on Saturday after rookie Mackenzie Blackwood made 29 saves versus the Red Wings.
The 33-year-old Schneider lost five of his first six decisions in March before turning aside 45 shots in a 3-1 win over Buffalo on Monday.
Kyle Palmieri, who leads the team in goals (27) and points (50), has been held off the scoresheet in six straight games and 11 of his last 14. The 28-year-old, however, scored in the previous meeting with St. Louis.
"We just have to find a way to score, especially 5-on-5," Devils coach John Hynes said. "We created enough chances (Friday), but we couldn't finish any of them."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 30, 2019