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Preview: Oilers (29-44) at Blues (52-23)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: March 26, 2013 8:00 PM EDT
  

The St. Louis Blues are returning home from a disappointing road trip.

Their only victory on that journey was against their next opponent, a club that has lost six straight visits to Scottrade Center.

The Blues will be in search of a fifth consecutive home win Tuesday night when they try to defeat the Edmonton Oilers for the sixth straight time.

St. Louis (17-12-2) is back home after losing two of three in Canada. The Blues are in seventh place and know a return trip to the postseason isn't guaranteed in the tightly-packed Western Conference.

"If we want to get into the playoffs and do well, we have to find a way to play a consistent game," center Andy McDonald told the Blues' official website. "It's got to improve. Everyone's got high expectations. It's frustrating."

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Facing Edmonton (11-13-7) has been anything but frustrating for St. Louis. The Blues improved to 11-1-1 in their last 13 games against the Oilers with a 3-0 victory Saturday behind Jaroslav Halak's 19 saves.

Halak is 7-1-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average in nine career starts against the Oilers, but his only two wins this month have been against them. He's 0-3-0 in his other three March starts, with 14 saves on 17 shots in Sunday's 3-2 defeat in Calgary.

The Blues fell to the Flames despite a 38-17 advantage in shots. T.J. Oshie scored in his second straight game after sitting out the previous three with an injury to his ribs and Vladimir Sobotka had the other goal.

"We had a lot of shots and we couldn't execute and put the puck in,' Sobotka said. "This can't happen."

St. Louis outshot all three opponents on the trip, but came up empty on nine power-play opportunities.

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has gone a season-high seven games without a point after amassing two goals and 17 assists in his first 24.

The Blues have outscored the Oilers 7-0 over the last five periods since Edmonton took a 2-0 lead on goals by Taylor Hall and Ryan Whitney after one period March 1.

The Oilers went on to lose that contest 4-2 to add to their futility in St. Louis. Their six-game losing streak at Scottrade Center followed five straight victories in the arena.

Edmonton started this brief two-game trip with Monday's 3-2 loss at Nashville. The Oilers were outshot 22-14 while falling behind 3-1 after two periods before nearly rallying behind a 12-4 edge in shots in the third.

"We just looked tight early," captain Shawn Horcoff said. "Like I said, finally in the third when we had nothing to lose, we just relaxed, we went out there and just played and we got results from that."

Horcoff and Hall each had goals and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added an assist as he returned after missing two games with a virus.

The Oilers' Eric Belanger left with a groin injury. Ryan Smyth shifted to center to take the place on Belanger's line with Mike Brown and Ryan Jones.

"What we do feel comfortable with is Ryan Smyth, the way he played center," coach Ralph Krueger said. "He did a good job with Brown and Jones when he took over in this game."

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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