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Blues at Rangers Preview: Is the win streak enough?

Colorado is keeping pace with the Blues.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues have put together an impressive streak of play since their January/February slump. For the third time this season, they won their 7th game - an overtime victory against the Dallas Stars. That was able to give them enough of a cushion between themselves and the Stars that the latter more than likely won’t be a threat heading down the stretch.

Unfortunately, a couple nights after the Blues’ victory, the Colorado Avalanche beat the Detroit Red Wings. The Avs have neatly kept pace with the Blues this entire streak, making it next to impossible for St. Louis to regain the ground that they lost earlier this year. Both teams are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and both teams are riding a seven game streak. Success is going to boil down to who breaks first.

The Rangers have a 35-26-4 record, good for 74 points and what would be a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for them, they play in the cutthroat East and are four points out of the last wild card spot. They’ve lost two in a row, but are still 7-3-0 in their last ten games and are still playing like a team that know that they need to make the post-season.

The Blues won’t have to see recently-extended former trade bait Chris Kreider, who is currently injured and who will be for the foreseeable future. They will, however, have to deal with Mika Zibanejad. He has eight goals in his last eight games, including two in the Rangers’ 5-3 loss to the Flyers on Sunday night. Factor in noted Blues’ killer Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome, and whoever the Blues decide to place in net tonight will need to have his head on a swivel.

The last time that the Blues played the Rangers, they defeated them 5-2 in St. Louis. The team looks to be back in a pre-slump shape, so it’s not outside of the realm of thought to expect them to win again tonight. If they want to keep the Avalanche (who will have two games in hand after tonight) at bay, they’re going to have to.