St. Louis (29-22-5) at Detroit (22-24-10)
When: Wednesday, February 15th 2017
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports
Two squads going in opposite directions will meet Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Red Wings host the St. Louis Blues. Detroit is in a real funk right now, losers of four in a row and nine of its last 11 games (2-5-4). The Red Wings’ streak of 25 consecutive postseason appearances is in jeopardy as they are last in the Eastern Conference with 54 points. Detroit has had issues in net and on the offensive side all season as they are ranked 26th in both goals scored (2.4) and goals allowed (3.0). Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau, who have taken over for injured No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard since the middle of December, have a combined goals-against-average over three and save percentages under .900. Coreau allowed six goals in Sunday’s 6-3 loss at Minnesota and has lost his last four starts overall. Mrazek was solid in goal on Saturday night in a 2-1 loss to Columbus, allowing just two goals on 39 shots. Detroit expects to be without Gustav Nyquist, who has a phone hearing with the league Wednesday after spearing Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the face Sunday. Nyquist, third on the team in scoring, was replaced by Tomas Tatar on the No. 1 line at Tuesday’s practice.
The Blues are climbing back up the standings with their recent run, winning the first four games of their five-game road trip and allowing just three goals total in those four contests. St. Louis has won five of six games in February after Mike Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock as head coach. Goaltender Jake Allen, who was benched for poor play last month, was named the NHL Second Star of the Week after winning all three starts while posting a 1.00 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage. Allen is 1-0-3 with a 2.40 goals-against average versus Detroit. Patrik Berglund was on pace for a career-low goal total after scoring only once in his first 30 games, but he is now closing in on his career high of 22 after scoring 16 goals in the past 26 games. Berglund recorded his first ever hat trick on Saturday, as the Blues dumped the Canadiens 4-2. Forward Paul Stastny (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and will sit out the next two games. The team finally returns to St. Louis on Thursday, but for only one game – versus Vancouver – before heading to Buffalo this weekend.
I have to keep riding the Blues bandwagon right now as the Red Wings seem to be counting the days until April. Look for Allen to have another solid performance and the Blues to come out victorious.
Pick: Blues -121