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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:20 am 
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Playoff berth clinched, time to get back to winning ways. Radio coverage is KMOX.

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BLUES (47-16-7) at PENGUINS (46-19-5)

TV: NHLN-US, NHLN-CA, FS-MW, ROOT

Last 10: St. Louis 7-2-1; Pittsburgh 6-3-1

Season series: The St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins are playing for the second and final time. The Blues won 2-1 in St. Louis on Nov. 9.

Big story: Each team is first in its division, but while the Penguins are cruising to the Metropolitan Division title, the Blues suddenly find themselves having to hold off the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Central Division after losing consecutive games on the road.

Team Scope:

Blues: St. Louis led 1-0 after the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon, but an 0-for-6 performance on the power play led to a 4-1 loss. Combined with a 4-0 defeat in Chicago on Wednesday, the Blues have lost back-to-back games while being outscored 8-1. Their lead over the Blackhawks is down to four points, though the Blues also have a game in hand.

Coach Ken Hitchcock isn't happy with the results in the last two games.

"Our level of determination in the offensive zone isn't what it's going to need to be to beat great goaltending," Hitchcock said. "We're going to have to find a way to get to a much higher level of compete in the offensive zone."

Penguins: Pittsburgh is 2-2-1 in its past five games, but the good news for the Penguins is that Evgeni Malkin is flying again. Malkin had two goals in a 5-4 road loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, then figured in all four goals Saturday when the Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime. Malkin scored twice and had an assist in regulation, then added a second assist on James Neal's power-play goal in OT.

"[Malkin] was flying," captain Sidney Crosby said. "He just dominated the whole night. He had the puck the entire game, drew two or three penalties, at least. He was on fire."

Malkin said some conversations with Crosby have helped him step up his game.

"I feel better every game," Malkin said. "I didn't play good after the Olympics, and Sid, he helped me a lot because he understands my problem with the loss and he supports me and helps me. After we talk, I feel so much better and I've just started to play better."

Who's hot: Forward Jaden Schwartz scored the Blues' lone goal Saturday and has three goals in the past five games. … Malkin has four goals and six points in the past two games for the Penguins after being held off the score sheet in three straight. Crosby had a goal and two assists against Tampa Bay, his second three-point performance in three games.

Injury report: Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) is out. … Penguins forward Joe Vitale (upper body) won't play. Goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), defensemen Kris Letang (stroke) and Paul Martin (hand) and forwards Pascal Dupuis (knee) and Chris Conner (hand) are also out. Letang has been practicing. Forward Beau Bennett (wrist) has started a conditioning assignment with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:29 am 
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After back to back poor showings, I'll be disappointed if we don't show up today. I don't even so much care if it's a W or L (OK, that's a lie), but just play well. If we play well in a 3-2 loss to a good team on the road, I will have a very different feeling than another 4-0 or 4-1 game.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:36 pm 
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Excellent game all around, Malkin is a piece of shit, and it would have been nice to get a couple more goals but a win is a win. Get some of that mojo back heading into the end of the pre-season.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Hell. Yes. What a great defensive effort we had this game, all-around. Speedy, puck-possessing teams like Pittsburgh really have trouble playing against us.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:45 pm 
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Best part were the homer penguins announcers debating if Backes's deflection should have been counted as a "kicking motion" :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:10 am 
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Nice to get the win, especially against the Penguins and the super-awesome-ultimate-mega-unstoppable dominant scoring power of the Crosby/Malkin duo.

So let's go ahead and shake the hornet's nest- Miller has given up 7 goals in his last two games; Elliott pitches a 1-0 shutout against one of the top teams in the league.

And... go.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:25 am 
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Ells may get the start in Toronto going off of 'Shutout starts next' rule, but yeahhh...I'm not going to take the Miller/Ells bait. Noting Miller has given up 7 goals in two games is also neglecting to mention the fact that the Blues' D was absolute balls in both of those games.

As for the Pens game, great effort all around. It had the feel of a 1-0 game and it ended up that way. Our offense still has me scratching our head. Seems like 1 or 2 goals is the ceiling right now. But we played physical and we matched them blow for blow and chance for chance yesterday.

And 87 still hasn't scored a goal against us. HUZZAH!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:42 pm 
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Big, big win. Shutdown defense and stellar play by Elliott. Really needed that win in the worst way. Was listening on NHL Radio when the Blues got the lone goal and about rear ended someone with my in-car cele haha.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:10 pm 
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Miller was, what, 7-0-1 to start his tenure here? The entire team played like crap during his last two games...

Ells has notoriously played well IN THE ROLE HE'S IN. Leave him there. Miller is world class. He's the starter.

It was two damn games.

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