Anaheim Ducks At St. Louis Blues Game Preview: Heavyweight Battle

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Anaheim Ducks and the St. Louis Blues are among the league's top teams, and they're both jockeying for position in very challenging divisions. Will the Blues' home streak against the Ducks continue?

The Anaheim Ducks haven't had good luck on the road this season. The top team in the Pacific Division might be 10-0-2 at their home arena, but on the road they're 8-7-3. Factor in that the Blues've gotten points in eight straight games against the Ducks and are riding a 10 game point streak at home, and the Ducks might not make it out in one piece.

Unless the Blues keep looking discombobulated. They weren't as good at the start as the should have been against the New York Islanders, started slow against the Los Angeles Kings, and forgot to show up until halfway through the second period against the Sharks. Anaheim's top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Cory Perry, and Dustin Penner will make you pay. The rest of the team? Apparently they're scared about doing what they need to do. Said coach Bruce Boudreau to NHL.com:

"It's not easy to score in this League, and if you're not willing to go to the net and not willing to take a shot off your butt and go in and get a cross-check in the back, then very rarely are you going to get those pretty goals," Boudreau said. "You look at any goal-scorer, they might score the odd pretty goal but they score like everybody else. Most of the goals [come] from just outside the blue [paint]."

So, they're not crashing the net? At the very least, even when they're slow, at least that's something that the Blues're continuing to do. Another place that they've been excelling at, especially Thursday night, is their power play. They scored on it three times last night, and are second in the NHL at 25.5%. Not bad. As an example of how hard it's been for the Ducks' players (outside of the top line) to get the puck in the net, Anaheim's power play is 23rd, at 15.2%. Their penalty kill's also unimpressive, a middle-of-the road, 18th overall at 80.8%. The Blues haven't allowed a power play goal in five games. Hopefully tonight'll make six.

The Blues have more than enough firepower and will to take this game tonight handily. They've outscored their opponents by 27 goals at home, and their home record speaks for itself - if the fans'd get out and support them, snow or no snow, that would be nice.

Just a note: Alexander Steen is a game time decision - he was sick and didn't skate this morning. Is he the next to be felled by the flu?

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