(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will try to match their longest winning
streak of the season when they visit the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday for
an important clash between a pair of playoff-hopeful clubs.
St. Louis enters Sunday holding onto the eighth seed in the West and is two
points ahead of Phoenix for that last playoff spot. The Blues are also just
one point behind Detroit for the seventh seed.
The Blues certainly have helped their postseason cause lately, winning three
straight to begin the final month of the regular season. St. Louis' only four-
game winning streak this season came from Jan. 24-31.
St. Louis won its latest outing over visiting Columbus, posting Friday's 3-1
victory over the Blue Jackets. David Backes scored the game-winning goal for
the hosts late in the second period.
Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund also rippled the net for the Blues, who had
lost four of five before this winning streak.
"The best player on the ice was our captain," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock
regarding Backes. "He needed to step up with everything that's gone on here
and he really stepped up."
Jake Allen snagged the victory thanks to 26 saves. Allen and Brian Elliott
will split the goaltending duties while Jaroslav Halak nurses another groin
injury. Halak, who has appeared in 16 games during an injury-plagued season,
injured his groin in Monday's game against Minnesota and is expected to miss
The Blues have won two straight and three of their last four on the road,
improving their away record this season to 11-7-1. St. Louis had lost four
straight in Detroit before notching a 4-3 overtime win in the Motor City on
Detroit has won two of its last three games and is coming off Friday's
overtime win in Colorado. Pavel Datsyuk scored a pair of goals, including the
game-winner with 15.4 seconds left in OT as the Red Wings beat the Avalanche,
Gustav Nyquist also lit the lamp for the Red Wings, while Jimmy Howard made 33
With time winding down in overtime, Henrik Zetterberg put a shot on net that
Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere failed to cover. Datsyuk reached
with his stick to poke the loose puck across the goal line.
"I jumped toward the net and followed up on the rebound," Datsyuk said.
The Red Wings are one point behind Minnesota for the West's sixth seed. The
Wild are visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
Detroit is kicking off a brief two-game homestand today and then will head
out on a four-game road trip. The Red Wings are 10-6-3 as the host this
Sunday's test marks the finale of the season series between the Red Wings and
Blues. The Central Division foes have split four meetings so far in 2013, but
Detroit has won six of eight overall in the series.
The Sports Network