Goals For per game
Blues -- 2.54 (tied 19th)
Ducks -- 2.49 (23rd)
Goals Against per game
Blues -- 1.88 (1st)
Ducks -- 2.72 (tied 17th)
Blues -- 1.43 (2nd)
Ducks -- 0.94 (19th)
Team Leading Scorers
West-leading Blues welcome in Ducks
Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer
Last 10: Anaheim 5-4-1; St. Louis 7-3-0
Season Series: Thursday marks the third of four meetings between these Western Conference foes, and the final regular season clash between the teams at Scottrade Center. Each team has earned a 4-2 home win over the other in the season series, as Bobby Ryan paced Anaheim with two goals on Oct. 16 before T.J. Oshie reeled off a pair of his own in a St. Louis victory on Dec. 8. The Ducks and Blues will close out their season set on March 21 at Honda Center.
Big Story: This Western Conference showdown features a pair of teams that have put together remarkable turnarounds this season. St. Louis' 6-7-0 start to the campaign is a distant memory as Ken Hitchcock's squad moved into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The Ducks, meanwhile, stand only six points out of the final playoff spot in the West after facing a 20-point gap on Jan. 6.
Ducks: Anaheim has had two days off after earning 4-2 win on home ice over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. The game was tied heading into the third period, but the Ducks' offense rose to the occasion with three goals in the final frame -- two by Corey Perry -- to come out on the better end of a must-win contest.
Despite being outshot 22-8 in the second period by the team with the League's second-worst record, the Ducks found a way to squeak out an important victory, reviving their playoff hopes in the process.
"It was probably our worst period of the year," Perry told NHL.com. "We put it behind us and battled back in the third period and got the job done."
Blues: St. Louis clicked on all cylinders in its 5-1 win over division rival Chicago, marking the team's sixth triumph in seven games. The Blues scored twice in the third period to build an insurmountable lead, outshooting the Blackhawks by a 31-20 margin on the night. Jaroslav Halak complemented his team's strong outing by stopping 19 of 20 shots to extend his personal win streak to six.
With the win, the Blues improved to an astounding 34-0-0 when scoring three goals or more on the season.
"For us, we work and we feel like, if we work, we're going to win, and when we don't work, we get angry," Hitchcock told NHL.com. "It's not just coaches mad at players, it's players pushing players, it's everybody pushing each other. We want to be proud of our work ethic. We feel like if our work ethic is at the top of the heap, we have a chance to beat anybody."
Who's Hot: Perry has posted 3 goals and 1 assist over his last two games. … Andy McDonald has 5 goals in his last four games for St. Louis.
Injury Report: The Ducks are still without Dan Ellis (torn groin), who has been out since early January. … For the Blues, Matt D'Agostini (concussion), Alex Steen (concussion), Kris Russell (concussion) and Jamie Langenbrunner (foot) are all expected to miss Thursday's game against Anaheim. Kent Huskins (bruised hand) is doubtful for the game.
Stat Pack: The Ducks have posted the League's second-best point total (42) since Jan. 1. Only St. Louis, with 44 points since the turn of the calendar year, has been better than Anaheim over that stretch.
Puck Drop: "We were just talking about how amazing -- when you think how old the NHL is -- and [Selanne] is 19th highest scoring in the history of the League," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told the Los Angeles Times after Teemu Selanne reached 1,398 career points on Monday, tying him with Jari Kurri for the 19th-best total in League history. "That pretty well says it all. He's a pretty special player and a first-ballot Hall of Famer."
The St. Louis Blues are solid 60.1 percent favorites over the Anaheim Ducks.
The Blues are favored by AccuScore simulations partly because they have a +4 edge in shots on goal and are projected for 30 shots on goal vs 26 shots for the Ducks.
The Blues goalie(s) have the edge in save percentage at 91.6% compared to the Ducks goalie(s) who have a forecasted save percentage of 90.9%.
KEY PLAYER STATISTICAL DATA
SAVES: Jonas Hiller 27, Jaroslav Halak 24
SHOTS: Corey Perry 3.6, Andy McDonald 2.8
GOALS: Corey Perry 0.46, Andy McDonald 0.45
PTS: Teemu Selanne has a 46% chance of scoring at least 1 point and Andy McDonald has a 22% chance of 1+PTs
Probable Starting Goaltenders
5'11", 182 lbs, Age 26
From Bratislava, Slovakia
2003 Montreal 9th Round (271st Overall)
With a 7 game road trip looming, this 3 game home stand is imperative. Win the final 2, and then go 4-3 on the tip at worst, and I think things are setting up well to win the Central. The upcoming game vs the Red Wings game may decide who wins the central.
Ducks fans have pretty much given up on the posibility of getting into the playoffs. They believe they need to go 11-2-2 on this schedule (10-3-2 might get it done IMO):
Their big push was impressive but it would have been hard for any stretch to have been more cream puffy than it was. They just aren't going to do anywhere near as well on that remaining schedule to get in.
I`d rather like to see SJ or LA in the playoffs...I like the ducks more (Teemu alone has more class than the whole SJ team and more goals than all the LA forwards) but I`d prefer to have one of the first 2 teams as possible opponents so we better keep them out of the PO-picture
I'm always excited to see Bobby Ryan play. For those of you not able to watch Tarasenko as much as some of us have been able to do via the magic of free streaming KHL, there's a lot of similarity there. Ryan's a more powerful and polished skater but their shooting/passing/vision/dynamism in the offensive zone is similar. We hope Tarasenko becomes as effective in the NHL as Ryan, basically.