Preview: Blues at Sharks | NHL.com

BLUES AT SHARKS

When: Thursday, April 21 at 9:30 pm CT
Where: SAP Center in San Jose, CA.
Watch: Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports app
Listen: 101 ESPN, Blues App

TEAM SNAPSHOTS

BLUES While the St. Louis Blues saw their win streak end at nine consecutive games, they were able to secure a point on Tuesday to extend their point streak to a franchise-record tying 13 games (11-0-2). With a point Thursday in San Jose, the Blues could set a new franchise mark at 14 straight.

Ultimately outshot 35-22 by the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at Enterprise Center, the Blues tied the game late in the second period and held through a strong third to force overtime. The equalizing goal, a savvy deflection of a Vladimir Tarasenko shot by Robert Thomasextended Thomas’s career-best point streak to 13 games.

Pavel Buchnevich also extended his career-best point streak, scoring in 11 straight contests thanks to his goal in the first period.

As the Blues gear up for their final road trip of the season, adversity like that which they faced on Tuesday can be welcome when making sure the team is tested and prepared for the challenges of the Playoffs.

“A game like that, they checked really well and didn’t give us much,” said Blues Head Coach Craig Berube. “So you gotta fight for space, it’s a good lesson for us.”

The Blues will begin their four-game road trip with a matchup against the San Jose Sharks, the first of three Playoff-eliminated opponents they’ll face – also including Arizona and Anaheim – before taking on the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche on April 26 .

Three of the club’s final six games are against Pacific Division opponents, against which the Blues are 15-3-3 this season.

They’ll bring a record of 46-20-11 with them to San Jose, worth 103 points and a slim margin behind Minnesota for third place in the Central Division. Though it is not set in stone yet, the Blues and Wild are likely to meet in the first round of the Playoffs – with home ice advantage still very much on the line.

SHARKS The San Jose Sharks warmly welcomed the sounds of victory celebrations at SAP Center on Tuesday night, winning their first game after a season-worst 10-game losing streak.

The Sharks opened their matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets on the right foot, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and holding on for a 3-2 win.

With Minnesota’s acquisition of Marc-Andre Fleury at the Trade Deadline, the Sharks saw an opportunity to add goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen, who came off a strong rookie season last year. The 25-year-old goalie recorded his first win as a Shark on Tuesday in his eighth appearance, saving 22 out of 24 Columbus shots.

“He’s played some really, really good games, we just haven’t been able to score for him,” said Sharks Captain Logan Couture of Kahkonen. “Tonight we were able to get three (goals) and hung on there, he made some great saves for us.”

Couture recorded his 28th assist of the year on Tuesday, bringing his total point to 51 as he closes out his 13th season with the Sharks.

Eliminated from Playoff contention with a shootout loss to Chicago on April 14, San Jose carries a 30-34-12 record into Thursday’s contest with the Blues, worth 72 points and seventh place in the Pacific Division.

HEAD-TO-HEAD The Blues won both of their matchups with San Jose this season, 5-3 in San Jose on Nov. 4 and 4-1 at Enterprise Center on Nov. 18. Goalie prospect Joel Hofer recorded his first NHL start and win, while also notching his first point, in the Nov. 4 victory.

The Blues have won four straight games against the Sharks and are 5-0-1 in their last six matchups.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BLUES Brandon Saad recorded four points in two matchups with the Sharks this season, his most of any opponent. Saad’s 46 points this season are seven shy of his career best as he wraps up his first season as a Blue.

SHARKS Timo Meier leads the Sharks in goals (33) and points (73) this season and is just one shy of defenseman Brent Burns for the team lead in assists. On Jan. 17, Meier became the first player in Sharks history to score five goals in a single game.

BLUE NOTES

Ville Husso stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced on Tuesday and is now 8-0-2, with a .925 save-percentage and a 2.54 goals-against average over his last 10 appearances … Since March 12, the Blues have scored at at least one power-play goal in 16 of their 20 games, going 19 for 62 (30.7 percent) in that span … Right now, the Blues have the all-time franchise mark for power-play efficiency – currently 26.8 percent on the season, slightly north of the 1986-87 team which finished the season at 24.6 percent … Robert Thomas is one goal shy of joining seven other Blues in the 20-goal club, building on the team’s second most 20-goal scorers in franchise history.

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