Calgary (8-4-1) at St. Louis (5-6-1)
Starting goalies are supposed to be:
Flames: Curtis McElhinney
Blues: Chris Mason
Eller's been called up. So, let's go Blues!!
A serious lack of offense has plagued the St. Louis Blues during their recent struggles at home. Hosting the Calgary Flames might not make things much better.
After being held scoreless in their last two games, the Blues look to avoid a third straight loss and fourth in a row at home Thursday night against the Flames.
St. Louis (5-6-1) has gone 123 minutes, 50 seconds without a goal after falling 4-0 at home to Florida on Saturday. That was two nights after a 2-0 loss to Phoenix at the Scottrade Center. Though the Blues won 5-2 at Carolina on Oct. 28, they’ve been outscored 10-1 while losing three in a row at home where they’re 1-5-0 this season.
The Blues were last shut out in back-to-back home games from Nov. 20-22, 1997. They hadn’t been blanked in consecutive games anywhere since Feb. 28-29, 2004 and have never gone three consecutive contests without a goal.
St. Louis is 3-6-1 since opening with consecutive victories over reigning Western Conference champion Detroit in Sweden.
“We’ve just got to find our game here,” said forward Keith Tkachuk(notes), who has three of the Blues’ 29 goals. “We’re definitely off track. We just to find a way to work hard this week and try to get back.”
Facing Calgary (8-4-1) might make that task even harder. Coming off a 3-2 victory in overtime at Dallas on Wednesday, the Flames have won three in a row and six of seven in St. Louis.
Jarome Iginla(notes), whose second goal of the night was the winner against the Stars, has 20 career goals against St. Louis and five with five assists in his last three road games against the Blues.
“Certainly Jarome’s game was good, and not just because he scored two goals,” said Flames coach Brent Sutter, whose team avoided a third straight loss. “He’s a big, strong guy that gets in there in areas where he’s hard to retain.”
Though Curtis McElhinney(notes) made 38 saves and denied a second-period penalty shot in his second start of the season and 21st NHL game, Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) could back in Calgary’s net after missing the game due to illness.
Based on Wednesday’s effort, Sutter should feel confident playing McElhinney if Kiprusoff is not ready.
“He hasn’t played in a while, and he stood tall and he was rewarded for it,” Sutter said of McElhinney, who’s 1-1-0 with a 2.98 goals-against average this season. “He had a great effort.”
Kiprusoff is 7-3-1 with a 3.00 GAA this season and 13-3-1 with a 2.33 GAA all-time against the Blues.
St. Louis’ Chris Mason(notes) made 23 saves against the Panthers and fell to 3-4-1 with a 2.74 GAA this season. Mason is 3-4-2 with a 3.44 GAA against Calgary.
Mason has been alternating starts lately with Ty Conklin(notes), who’s 2-2-0 with a 2.34 GAA this season and 3-2-1 with a 3.17 career GAA versus the Flames.
It’s uncertain if the Blues will have center Andy McDonald(notes) available after he went headfirst into the corner boards early in the third period and didn’t return Saturday. McDonald’s four goals are tied with Paul Kariya(notes) for the team lead.