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Blues at Senators preview: The Brady Bunch

Underestimate the Senators at your own risk.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

To call the Blues’ 5-1 win over the Blackhawks on Saturday night a turnaround from their previous loss to the Devils is an understatement. Maybe it was the rust being gone, maybe it was the line adjustments, maybe it was just good ol’ fashioned hatred of Chicago - whatever it was, the Blues looked good. They limited the Blackhawks to just 15 shots on net with only one, a goal by Dylan Strome, sneaking past Ville Husso.

Husso improved to 10-3-1 on the season, continuing to benefit from what appears to be better play from the forwards and defense in front of him than what Jordan Binnington has received this season. Of course, the reasons for Husso’s success and Binnington’s struggles go deeper than just what we, as fans, perceive as “better” or “less confident” play from the rest of the team, but whatever the issues are, there’s not much reason for Craig Berube to start Binnington tonight against Ottawa. There’s not much reason for him to change a thing. Oskar Sundqvist potted a goal and an assist, and Brayden Schenn is on a tear regardless of who is on his line - you have to go back to January 24th disaster against the Calgary Flames to find a game where he hasn’t made the scoresheet. He has seven points (3G, 4A) in his last four games.

Tonight is the start of a four game road trip for the Blues, with only one game - Saturday night against Toronto - coming against a team in playoff position. The Blues returning to St. Louis with eight points isn’t a foregone conclusion, though - the Senators have a lot of fight in them. They took down the Washington Capitals on Sunday, adding to the slumping Caps’ woes. They’re 17-24-4 on the season and beyond a long-shot for the playoffs, but Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, and Drake Batherson are giving a glimpse into the Sens’ future, and it’s starting to look a little better than it has in a while. Former Penguin Matt Murray is having a decent season, all things considered - his 5-8-2 record isn’t much to write home about but his .922 SV% is pretty stellar for a goalie on a team that allows almost 34 shots on goal on average.