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Blues at Ducks preview: Win it clean

The Blues nearly coasted their way to a loss last night in Arizona.

NHL: JAN 31 Blues at Ducks Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Under normal circumstances, rolling into the third period up by a score of 4-1 wouldn’t be a cause for concern. Under no circumstances should it be a concern when you’re playing the Arizona Coyotes.

And yet.

If you were wondering if the Blues were still playing down to the competition, last night’s game showed you yes, yes they were. Maybe not the entire game, maybe it was going to be just a bit of it, but yep. The Blues were going to coast at some point last night and it nearly cost them the game.

Three third period goals to the Coyotes - two within under a minute of each other from Bokondji Imama and Michael Carcone were especially egregious - and the Blues found their point streak at risk. Luckily, it was all a clever, drawn out way to get Vladimir Tarasenko’s point streak continued to nine games, though sadly both Robert Thomas’ and Pavel Buchnevich’s point streaks wrapped up.

The fourth line was outstanding last night with a total of four combined points, and will have to be again tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. Brayden Schenn and Torey Krug, who both missed last night’s win, are questionable for tonight as well. The team’s going to need to clamp down and play the full 60 minutes because while out of the playoff picture, the Anaheim Ducks are no pushovers.

Long time Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has announced his retirement for the end of this season, so tonight is the final game that the Blues will have to deal with one of their bigger thorns. Getzlaf has just three goals on the season but he also has 33 assists. His 36 points are good for fifth on the team. Once you get past Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, the Ducks have only one other player - Adam Henrique - who could likely crack 20 goals for the year. In contrast, the Blues have eight 20 goal scorers, with Ryan O’Reilly close behind at 17.

The Blues have the punch to keep their streak going; they just need to have the focus.