Oct 26, 2011; Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA; Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider (35) makes a save agaisnt St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart (25) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks - Gameday Preview March 19, 2013

ST. LOUIS BLUES

at VANCOUVER CANUCKS

March 19th, 2013
Rogers Arena
Vancouver, British Columbia
9:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Blues Lead Season Series 1-0

The St. Louis Blues are on a roll and will look to continue their success tonight in Vancouver against the Canucks.  This is the second of three meeting this season which will conclude with a game in St. Louis on April 16.  The last time the Blues faced off against the Canucks they took home the two points but had to go to a shootout to do it.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

(16-10-2, 2nd in Central)

The St. Louis Blues are looking for their fourth straight win tonight as the team is surging as of late.  With solid defense and an offense that seems to find the back of the net more than ever, the Blues look like they have finally found their stride in this shortened season.  With Andy McDonald back in the lineup tonight, the Blues are almost completely healthy with the exception of Oshie.  After an overtime win against the Ducks, the Blues look like they have the confidence to beat just about anyone.

Key players  

Chris Stewart was named the NHL’s number one star of the week and for good reason.  Stewart is having perhaps the best stretch of his career scoring 15 points in his last nine games.  The story of the Blues right now seems to be if Stewart is scoring, the Blues are winning.  With 14 goals and 14 assists, Stewart is leading the Blues in goals and points and is tied for third on the team in assists.  While there are talks of moving the surging Stewart it doesn’t seem to have affected his play at all.  Looks like Stewart could be the man to watch on the ice tonight.

Vladimir Tarasenko is back, and he is looking to pick up right where he left off.  Saturday against the Ducks, Tarasenko managed to get an assist, but it won’t be long before we see his name in the goal column again.  With the Blues managing to win without him on the ice, Tarasenko may have the chance to sneak under the radar of opposing teams again.  Early in the season Tarasenko drew a lot of attention, but when other teams don’t keep their eyes on him, he takes advantage.  I think tonight might be the night we see number 91 light the lamp for the first time since returning from his concussion.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

(13-8-6, 2nd in Northwest)

The Vancouver Canucks have been a dominant force in the Western Conference for quite a while now, but in the shortened season their strengths are being questioned.  Suffering from injuries and struggling on the ice, the Canucks have fallen from first in the Northwest Division to seventh in the West, two spots behind the Blues.  After last night’s 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on home ice, the Canucks hope to turn it around against the Blues.  After losing 11 of their last 16, tonight is an important game against the Blues.

Key players

Mar 16, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks right wing Alexandre Burrows (14) is congratulated by center Henrik Sedin (33) after scoring in the first 6 seconds against Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (not pictured) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Sedin boys are at it again.  Each season the ginger twins manage to impress just about everyone in the NHL and this season is no exception.  In 28 games so far this season, Henrik Sedin has managed 27 points while Daniel Sedin has put up 25 points.  The clear leaders of this Vancouver team, the Sedins are close to posting at a point-per-game pace.  Alexandre Burrows, Alexander Edler, and Jannik Hansen are the closest players on the team in points, all tied with 16.  Also take into account that Henrik Sedin is an impressive +16 this season while Daniel Sedin and Alx Burrows are both an equally impressive +10.

Bottom line

While both teams have a lot on the line tonight in Vancouver, the Canucks are the team that needs to come out on top to turn their season around.  The Blues and Canucks always have intense battles and tonight should not be any different, but expect one team to walk away with two points in regular.  Jake Allen will be in net again for the Blues and hopes to continue his impressive play and improve to a 9-1-0 record, but watch for the veteran lineup in Vancouver to look for any holes he shows.

Injuries

The Blues will be without winger and impact player T.J. Oshie as he recovers from an upper body injury suffered on March 12th against the San Jose Sharks.  The Canucks will be without the services of Ryan Kesler (foot), David Booth (ankle), and Zach Kassian (back).

Let’s hope the St. Louis Blues can bring home a win tonight.  LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: Game Preview St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks

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