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Senators At Blues Game Preview: Keep The Offense Rolling

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The secondary scoring, after a lull in Boston and Montreal, picked it back up again in Ottawa and Winnipeg.

USA TODAY Sports

Despite much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Blues slow offense outside of the STL Line (Hey! Did you know Ryan Reaves had as many goals than Oshie and Stastny there for a bit on Sunday?), the Blues only have two losses in the month of November. That's good. Yes, the competition is tight in the Western Conference and the Blues only sit a point ahead of the Nashville Predators in the Central Division. The goal, though, is to get as many points as you can - the Blues need to worry about how many they amass, not how many everyone else does.

Every aspect of the team has contributed to this - goaltending has been solid (especially apparent to those of us who watch the games); the 1A/1B tandem that has evolved in net is a secure one. It's been nice not hearing people fight over who the starter is, or who the better goalie is this season, because both Brian Elliott and Jake Allen have been superb.

Scoring is back on track. In an interview with Jeremy Rutherford, Ken Hitchcock attributed it to the re-emergence of two players in particular: Alexander Steen and David Backes:

"Well I think what’s happened the last two games, quite frankly, we’ve got contribution from other people," said Hitchcock, whose team will face the Senators for the second time in four days tonight at Scottrade Center.

"This is the way we envisioned our hockey club. We didn’t expect (Jori) Lehtera’s line to light it up like they have. But we expected it throughout the lineup. "I think the biggest difference, quite frankly, is (Alexander) Steen. Steen and Backes are competing at a whole other level now, which I think is carrying a lot of people along and really helping us. Both these guys have moved their game up to a really high level, which I think is helping a lot."

Those are the guys who need to step up. Backes and his bruised upper lip may still be in beast mode tonight against the Sens. If he is, Ottawa needs to watch out.

The Senators are tired, having just lost last night 4-3 in Detroit, which was a battle back from being down 4-1. They're on a five-game road trip, and tonight is game number two. They're also 4-5-1 on the road, and Scottrade is not an easy place to play - the Blues have eight wins in 11 games at home.

Here're the lines for tonight, from STLToday.com:

Steen-Berglund-Oshie

Schwartz-Lehtera-Tarasenko

Lindstrom-Stastny-Backes

Ott-Lapierre-Reaves

Jackman-Pietrangelo

Gunnarsson-Shattenkirk

Butler-Cole

Elliott

Allen

Now, imagine those with Berglund and Ott gone, and Jordan Eberle and Dmitrij Jaskin in there. Just sayin'.

Fun fact: a win tonight ties Hitchcock with Mike Keenan for sixth on the all-time wins list. Barret Jackman will also've played more games in the Note than Brett Hull. Deal with that, non-fans of St. Louis' longest tenured pro athlete.