Nov 5, 2011; St. Paul, MN, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) gets control of the puck chased by Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley (15) with forward Guillaume Latendresse (48) to challenge him in the corner during the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild-April 11, 2013 Gameday Preview

ST. LOUIS BLUES

at MINNESOTA WILD

APRIL 11th, 2013
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
7:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Blues lead Season Series 2-0

The St. Louis Blues look to extend their current winning streak and a break a tie with the Minnesota Wild. Brian Elliott figures to get the nod in goal coming off two straight shut outs. The Blues will go for a season series sweep tonight in St. Paul.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

(22-14-2, 2nd in Central)

The Blues appear to be heating up at the right time. The suddenly surging ‘Note is riding tight defense and solid goaltending on it’s current wave of success.

Key players

Alex Pietrangelo is widely regarded as the best player for the Blues. Since the acquisition of Jay Bouwmeester, Pietrangelo as indeed looked like the best player in blue. The consistency and ability of Bouwmeester has taken the weight off Pietrangelo’s shoulders and he has been allowed to shine. That crisp first pass of the stick of Pietrangelo is now going north and exiting the Blues’ zone.

Brian Elliott is currently riding a shutout streak approaching 130 minutes. What was once lacking from the Elliott’s game appears to have returned. Elliott replaced the injured Jaroslav Halak on Monday of last week in Minnesota. Elliott was credited with the win. He went on to be awarded the league’s 2nd Star of the week after two other stellar performances.

MINNESOTA WILD

(22-15-2, 2nd in Northwest)

The Wild seemingly bolstered their lineup with a deadline pickup of Jason Pominville from the Buffalo Sabres. But in the month of April the Wild have won just one of their five contests. In tonight’s contest they look to put the Blues behind them in the standings once again.

Key players

Mar 29, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise(11) skates in the Dallas Stars zone during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Wild 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Parise was the free agent prize of the summer and the Wild won in a big way. The Minnesota native and Shattucks St. Mary’s product has not disappointed as he has scored 15 goales and added 17 assists. He is currently second on the team in points.

Second prize this summer Ryan Suter and the Wild lured him to the Twin Cities with a big contract, as well. He’s a big rugged defender who plays a lot of minutes and will dictate how you play in end of the rink.

Bottom line

The Blues are booming, the Wild are faltering and they are tied in points. It would seem as though the Blues get the Wild at a time in which Minnesota is vulnerable. However, the Blues cannot rely on their goalies to pitch shutouts every night. The Blues have to start putting the puck in the back of the net more, plain and simple. This would be an apt time for the Blues to get their power play working again. It sounds obvious but if they can do those things they should come out on top.

Injuries

The Blues will once again be without Halak, T.J. Oshie, Jamie Langenbrunner and Scott Nichol. The Wild will be missing Josh Harding and Dany Heatley.

Tags: Minnesota WIld St. Louis Blues Zach Parise

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