Brian Elliott played well in his last game, stopping 35 of 37 shots on goal. The Blues, of course, lost that one to the Dallas Stars by a score of 3-0. This has appeared to be the trend with the Blues and Elliott this season: goaltender stands on head, gets no offensive support.
To be fair, this seems to be the trend with the Blues and Jake Allen as of late, as well.
Against the Senators, Elliott has traditionally played very well, though the sample size isn't large. He's 2-0-1 in four games played, with a 1.65 GAA and .942 save percentage. On today's Blues Overtime Blog, coach Ken Hitchcock had this to say about Elliott:
"His last game, he was outstanding," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after today’s morning skate, adding that tonight’s game was a scheduled start for Elliott. "We know where we want to go on a weekly basis, and I’m looking forward to see him play again. If he plays the way he did in Dallas, that’s going to give us a chance tonight."
This is true. It also merits pointing out that "giving the Blues a chance" isn't something they've known how to deal with. Their normally strong third period play has been trending southward; couple that with a second period malaise, and you have a recipe for low scoring games. The Blues haven't scored an even-strength goal since December 29th's game against the Predators, and have been outscored 15-9 in their last four games.The Blues' sixth-best power play is keeping the team afloat.
The Sens, however, do not have a strong power play. Their power play is 22nd in the league at 18.2%, and their penalty kill is the third worst in the league (76.5%). They also allow nearly three goals a game. Perhaps, when you factor in that they played last night (a 3-0 loss to the Blackhawks), tonight is shaping up for one of those games where the Blues can blow the monkey off of their backs.
Kyle Brodziak is sitting tonight in favor of Scottie Upshall; it appears that Brodziak isn't playing as well as hoped after returning from his injury.
The Blues may want to keep a special eye on Bobby Ryan tonight. Ryan, who has a great deal of experience against the Blues thanks to his time with the Ducks, has scored 15 goals and added 12 assists onto that over 22 games against St. Louis.
Neither team have been scoring machines lately - the Blues have scored twice in their last two games, while the Sens haven't managed to score at all. Games like tonight's will go one of two ways: either someone's breaking out or it will be decided on the thinnest margin of error.