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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:20 am 
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Josh Bailey will have a special cheering section on Saturday night when the New York Islanders visits the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

Bailey's parents and grandparents are making the latter part of the Islanders' road trip.

"For my parents, they are trying to see me play in every rink so they're getting close and this knocks three more off the list, so it's nice to spend some time with them on the trip," Bailey told NHL.com.

Bailey hopes to continue his hot play as the Islanders complete a nine-game road trip. He tied a career high with three assists in New York's 4-3 overtime win over Vancouver on Thursday. He has a team-high 37 assists and 49 points this season.

Bailey enters the game with 299 career points.

"He's really seeing the ice right now," Islanders coach Doug Weight said of Bailey to NHL.com. "The puck is kind of following him. ... He's been a cornerstone and he's been a strong, strong player this year."

The Islanders currently are in the last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 75 points, just one point ahead of Toronto.

Andrew Ladd's game-winner salvaged a crucial extra point for the Islanders against the Canucks, who had tied the score with 19.3 seconds left in the third quarter. The Islanders have 11 points through the first eight games of the trip.

"The third was a much better period for us, but six-on-five we have to find a way to keep the puck out of our net," Islanders forward John Tavares told NHL.com. "It was unfortunate to give up one late, but good perseverance overcoming the way we played today and getting a big goal in OT."

The Islanders are 15-6-3 since Weight took over and are 26-13-7 after a disastrous 6-10-4 start to the season. They are 6-2-1 in their last nine.

The Blues enter on the heels of a last-minute 4-3 victory over Anaheim on Friday night. Joel Edmundson's goal with 20 seconds left broke the tie and ran St. Louis' winning streak to three games.

But the Blues might be short a critical piece on their defense as Colton Parayko left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

"It's something that we don't expect to be long term and it was more of a precautionary measure on our part to take him out," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "I would say that he's questionable right now for tomorrow."

The injury left St. Louis with just five defensemen for the last period facing a quick turnaround against New York.

Every point is critical for the Blues, who hold a three-point lead over Los Angeles for the Western Conference's final wild-card spot and are two points behind Nashville for third in the Central Division.

"We have to focus on tonight and we had to get the win and we were in a position to win the game so you run the bench accordingly," Yeo said. "Tomorrow is a new challenge and those guys played a lot, but those are character games and part of that is you play a little smarter."
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Blues • The Blues lost to the Islanders 3-2 in Brooklyn on Dec. 8 in one of just two games this season in which the Blues didn’t have a power play. After this game, the Blues don’t play at home until March 23. … The Blues are 7-2 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Islanders • This is the last stop on a nine-game, 19-day road trip that saw the Islanders beat Vancouver 4-3 in overtime Thursday. The Islanders went 5-2-1 on the trip, which has had a wide gamut of highs and lows, including a 3-0 win at Montreal and a 7-0 loss at Columbus. … Former Blue Doug Weight was named the team’s interim head coach on Jan. 17. The team has gone 14-6-3 since then and is holding on to the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Injuries • Blues – F Robby Fabbri (knee), out. Islanders – F Shane Prince (leg), F Casey Cizikas (upper body) and F Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), out; D Johnny Boychuk (lower body) and F Alan Quine (upper body), day to day.

Quote:
The Blues will complete a back-to-back home set against the Islanders tonight. St. Louis is coming off an emotional win as Joel Edmundson sent the Anaheim Ducks packing with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation last night. The win moved the Blues three points clear of Los Angeles for the final Wild Card spot, while they also pulled to within two points of Nashville for third place in the Central Division. The Blues have fared well against the Islanders in recent years, posting points in seven of their last eight meetings (5-1-2). The series at Scottrade Center has seen the Blues win four of the last five, outscoring the Isles 22-9 in the process. The Blues have gone 16-12-1 vs. the East this season, and more impressively, they are 7-2-0 in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blues' last regulation home loss to the Islanders came back on Dec. 6, 2005, when current Isles Head Coach Doug Weight logged 26:57 of playing time and one assist as a member of the Blues.

What to Watch

Keep an eye on the Blues' top performers vs. the East. Vladimir Tarasenko leads all Western Conference skaters with 15 goals vs. the East this season, while Carter Hutton has posted the 5th-best goals-against average (2.33) among goalies from the West this season. As a whole, the Blues have been dominant against the East over the past six seasons. Their .668 win-percentage in inter-conference play is best only by Chicago (.679) in the West, while their plus-69 goal differential is 10 better than any other Western Conference club.

Milestones

David Perron - 3 shy of 100 goals as a Blue / 8 shy of 500 career PIM
Paul Stastny - 1 shy of 200 games as a Blue
Kyle Brodziak - 4 shy of 400 career PIM
Carl Gunnarsson - 9 shy of 100 career assists
Jori Lehtera - 3 shy of 100 career points
Alexander Steen - 5 shy of 300 points as a Blue / 6 shy of 400 career PIM / 10 shy of 300 PIM as a Blue
Jaden Schwartz - 1 shy of 200 career points
Jay Bouwmeester - 8 shy of 100 PIM as a Blue
Robert Bortuzzo - 7 shy of 200 career games

Quick Hits

Paul Stastny will dress in his 200th game as a Blue. Stastny logged his 18th goal of the year last night, marking his highest total as a Blue
Alex Pietrangelo collected his 229th assist last night, passing Adam Oates for 12th on the all-time franchise list
Vladimir Tarasenko recorded his 30th goal last night, becoming the first Blue since Keith Tkachuk (2001-04) to score 30 in three straight seasons
Alexander Steen has 19 points (6g, 13a) in 20 career games against the Islanders


This day in history:
1970 Gary Sabourin sets Blues record for fastest 2 goals (16 seconds) and scores records hat trick in Blues 9-1 win over North Stars
1st career Hat trick & set St Louis Blues record fastest 2 Goals (:16 seconds) Mar 11
1986 Islander Mike Bossy, 1st NHLer to score 50 goals in 9 straight seasons
1993 Jeff Brown scored his 20th and 21st goal breaking the Blues record for goals by a defenseman in 5-2 win over Sharks

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Forwards

Jaden Schwartz - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen - Patrik Berglund - David Perron
Dmitrij Jaskin - Ivan Barbashev - Magnus Paajarvi
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

Defense

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson - Colton Parayko / Jordan Schmaltz
Carl Gunnarsson - Robert Bortuzzo

Goalie

Carter Hutton


Parayko is still questionable...

Quote:
ISLANDERS
Forwards

Anders Lee-John Tavares-Josh Bailey
Nikolay Kulemin-Brock Nelson-Joshua Ho-Sang
Andrew Ladd-Ryan Strome-Jason Chimera
Stephen Gionta-Anthony Beauvillier-Cal Clutterbuck

Defensemen

Nick Leddy-Scott Mayfield
Calvin de Haan-Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey-Dennis Seidenberg

Goalie

Thomas Greiss

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:59 pm 
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Hopefully, before too long, we'll be able to ask how the Lehtera area will be remembered.

Not too many Islanders fans around here, far more Rangers fans, but it would still be nice to have some bragging rights for a little while.

Blues 3
Islanders 2 (OT)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Hope Parayko is back soon.

The Islanders seem to be in roughly the same position in the standings as we are, so underestimating them could be a big mistake.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Not only are the Isles in a similar spot to us in the standings, they have a playoff spot after a bad start to the season. They've played really well under Weight. No excuses at this point of the season (or any point really I guess), but it's also the second night of a back to back against playoff teams. And we might not have Parayko. This could be a tough game. Hopefully they come out ready to play.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Yep... Both these teams are playing to stay in their respective last playoff spots. At this moment, it's a little more urgent for the Islanders only being 1 point ahead of the Leafs and Toronto facing the non-contending Carolina Hurricanes. With the Blues West coast trip coming up, they could makeup a loss tonight when they play the Kings on Monday.

This upcoming West Coast trip is more critical to the Blues playoff position and how prepared the team is for the playoffs than tonight's game, IMO. With that being said, this game could easily be one of the few playoff intensity level games remaining. The others being Kings, Flames, and Predators, unless the Jets go on a run and they could be added to that list.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:26 pm 
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Great job on the power play, by Steen and Tarasenko for the 1-0 lead! Nice to score first with Stastny and Parayko out.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:42 pm 
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Good kill off of that double minor! Blues are in sync!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Good 1st Period for The Blues. They were skating hard, playing physical, and executing well! Let's hope they keep it up!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Steen Johnny-on-the-spot knocks in a gift! Blues lead 2-0!!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Super long wrister by Tarasenko!!! Blues lead 3-1!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Berglund with a dipsy-doodle forehand/backhand move gets The Blues a 4-1 lead!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:55 pm 
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Great 2nd for The Blues! They came out shorthanded, but determined to win.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Blues win!!! Blues Win!!! Great tough win, shorthanded, even giving up most of a 3-goal lead. Important 2 points as the Preds upset The Sharks.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:59 am 
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Another good win last night. 3 in a row against playoff teams and 4 in a row overall. Now the real test starts though. 15 games in 28 days to finish the season including a 5 game west coast trip. 6 points on this trip seems reasonably attainable.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:10 am 
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Bit of a letdown there at the end, but a win's a win against a solid team.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:43 am 
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I wouldn't call it as much of a let-down as the Islanders stepping up their game knowing Toronto had won.

Barbashev wasn't protected from face-offs the way Yeo had been limiting Lehtera. He was 7 for 12 in the face-off dot and the face-offs were balanced between all 3 zones. Lehtera only took 8 face-offs total over his last 2 games. So keep playing Barbashev, please.

Berglund owned Tavares on face-offs 10/14 head-to head while 14/19 for the game.

Steen wasn't doing well on face-offs (2/8) while Schwartz was 4/5 taking only offensive zone draws. Just let Schwartz handle the face-offs next time.

Good to see scoring from someone not on the top line.

There was one play where Schmaltz flat out saved a goal. Hard shot hit Hutton and the puck bounced to his right and was laying at the side of the goal with a gaping net. Schmaltz boxed out the Islander crashing the net and knocked the puck away. If Schmaltz doesn't skate his ass off to get there, because he was trailing his man, that's an easy goal against.

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