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Blues hope to continue dominance of Oilers

Mar 26, 2013 - 3:23 PM
(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful St. Louis Blues will try to take advantage of their recent success against the Edmonton Oilers when the clubs meet Tuesday at Scottrade Center.

The Blues, who finished second in the NHL with 109 points in 2011-12, have struggled with consistency this season but still find themselves sitting seventh in the Western Conference, two points ahead of San Jose and Nashville.

St. Louis figures to have a solid chance at improving its postseason chances Tuesday against the Oilers, who have lost eight of nine and 11 of the last 13 games in this series. Edmonton also has dropped six straight in St. Louis since last winning at the Scottrade Center on Dec. 11, 2009.

The Blues posted a 4-2 win over a visiting Oilers team on March 1 in the first of three scheduled meetings this season. St. Louis added a 3-0 triumph this past Saturday in Edmonton, as Jaroslav Halak posted his third shutout of the season to lead the Blues to their fifth straight win in this series.

However, St. Louis failed to follow its recent win over the Oilers with another victory, as it fell to the Calgary Flames on Sunday. Jarome Iginla scored the game-winning goal with 7:02 remaining to lift the Flames to the 3-2 win. The setback marked the end of a 1-2-0 road trip for the Blues.

T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Sobotka tallied for the Blues, who had won four of five heading into Sunday's contest. St. Louis outshot the Flames by a whopping 38-17 margin in the loss and went 0-for-4 on the power play.

"Too many opportunities that we worked to earn and didn't take advantage with the people on the power play," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "If we continue to play good 5-on-5 hockey we'll be alright."

Halak allowed all three goals on 17 shots.

St. Louis will host Los Angeles on Thursday to complete a brief two-game homestand. The Blues have won their last four on home ice, bringing their record in the Gateway City to 8-5-1.

The Oilers enter Tuesday riding a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) and the last two setbacks have come in regulation, including Monday's 3-2 loss in Nashville.

The Predators led 3-1 heading into the third, but Shawn Horcoff cut the deficit to one for the Oilers just over seven minutes into the final period. However, Pekka Rinne stopped 11-of-12 Edmonton shots in the third stanza to lead Nashville to victory.

Taylor Hall also lit the lamp for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 23- of-26 shots in a losing effort.

"It's not enough to play in Nashville to play 20 minutes," Edmonton head coach Ralph Kruger said.

Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned to the lineup after missing two games with flu-like symptoms. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 draft notched an assist in 16 minutes, 44 seconds of ice time.

Oilers defenseman Eric Belanger left Monday's game with a strained groin and did not return. He is questionable for Tuesday's contest.

Edmonton is 6-8-3 as the visiting team this season. After Tuesday's contest, the Oilers will return home for a three-game stay at Rexall Place, beginning with Thursday's matchup against Columbus.

    ST. LOUIS: 0

    Mar 26 10:31 PM

    ST. LOUIS: 0
    End of 2nd

    Mar 26 9:37 PM

  • Edmonton Goal - Taylor Hall (8), at 5:17.

    Oilers 3, Blues 0  2nd - 14:43Mar 26 9:08 PM
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    Oilers 3, Blues 0  2nd - 14:43Mar 26 9:08 PM

  • Edmonton Goal - Jordan Eberle, from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at 3:26.

    Oilers 2, Blues 0  2nd - 16:34Mar 26 9:03 PM
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    Oilers 2, Blues 0  2nd - 16:34Mar 26 9:03 PM

    ST. LOUIS: 0
    End of 1st

    Mar 26 8:41 PM

  • Edmonton Goal - Jordan Eberle (8), from Taylor Hall at 11:29.

    Oilers 1, Blues 0  1st - 8:31Mar 26 8:24 PM

    ST. LOUIS: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Mar 26 8:09 PM
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    Oilers vs. BluesMar 26 4:42 PM
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    Oilers vs. BluesJan 13 8:16 AM