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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 19th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Blues (47-14-7) at Chicago Blackhawks (39-15-15), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot St. Louis Blues will try to remain undefeated against the defending Stanley Cup champions this season when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks for Wednesday's Central Division showdown at United Center.

With an 8-0-1 record in March, the Blues have vaulted to the top of the NHL standings. A recent victory over the Winnipeg Jets made St. Louis the first team to reach the 100-point mark this season.

St. Louis currently sits first in the league with 101 points -- two more than the Boston Bruins. The Blues also are four points ahead of both Anaheim and San Jose in the West standings and hold an eight-point lead over both Chicago and Colorado for first place in the Central.

The Blackhawks are currently third in the Central and nine points behind St. Louis. Chicago has a chance to make up some ground in the division race tonight, but St. Louis has gotten the better of the reigning champs so far in 2013-14. The Blues also have earned points in 22 consecutive divisional games (20-0-2), extending a franchise record.

The Blues are 3-0 against Chicago this season and have claimed four straight overall in the series. However, each of the last three encounters between the clubs have been decided by just one goal. That includes a 6-5 shootout victory by the Blues in the last meeting on Dec. 28 in St. Louis.

Chicago failed to hold a pair of two-goal leads in that meeting in late December and the Blues forced the game beyond regulation by scoring twice during a 1:17 span late in the third period.

Still, these clubs have split the last 10 meetings overall and St. Louis has lost 10 of 13 in Chicago despite winning the last two matchups in the Windy City.

The Blues won their third straight game Monday night against visiting Winnipeg. David Backes scored twice, including the game-winner with 6:51 left in the third period, as St. Louis secured a 3-1 win over the Jets at Scottrade Center.

Backes broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal at 13:09 of the third before being credited with an empty-netter at 18:49. Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba hauled Backes down from behind with only an empty net in front of him, resulting in a goal.

Brenden Morrow scored St. Louis' other goal, while Ryan Miller made 16 saves to improve to 7-0-1 since being acquired on Feb. 28 by the Blues.

Miller will get another chance to improve on his brilliant start with the Blues tonight. The former Buffalo Sabres netminder is 2-2-0 with a 2.08 goals against average in four career games against Chicago.

St. Louis is kicking off a four-game road trip on Wednesday and is 22-9-3 as the visiting team this season. T.J. Oshie will be back for the Blues in the opener of the swing after missing Monday's test to spend time with his wife and the couple's newborn daughter.

The Blackhawks have lost three of their last four games, but were able to pick up a point in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss in Philadelphia.

Chicago grabbed an early 2-0 lead by scoring twice in the first 3:51 of the game, but the Blackhawks wouldn't find the net again. After Scott Hartnell scored twice in the first period to even the game, Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux scored the winning goal with just 4.2 seconds left in OT to give the Flyers the victory.

With time winding down in the extra session, Giroux flew down the right wing into the zone and from the circle he snapped a laser on net, using Duncan Keith as a screen, and it went in and out of the left corner for the win.

Andrew Shaw and Keith had the goals for Chicago. Antti Raanta gave up all three goals on 37 shots.

"I think we did a lot of good things tonight. But, definitely really frustrating the way we gave that point up," said Keith.

Blackhawks No. 1 netminder Corey Crawford expects to get the start tonight. He is 9-2-3 with a 2.45 GAA in 14 career games against the Blues.

Chicago is beginning a four-game homestand on Wednesday and also will host Carolina, Nashville and Dallas during the stay at United Center. The Blackhawks are 21-6-7 as the home club this season.

03/19 10:44:11 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 64
TULSA 66
Final
UNC 78
FSU 74
Final
NCCU 79
COPST 77
 
Final
CHA 76
NYK 71
Final
CHA 76
NYK 71
Final
MIL 101
DET 86
Final
MEM 101
PHI 83
Final
UTA 108
BRK 73
 
3rd
POR 51
WAS 59
 
Final
SENS 13
SENN 34
Final
DREX 53
COC 51
 
Final
XAV 89
DEP 76
Final
PURD 67
IOWA 63
Final
SCAR 43
KENT 58
Final
KYST 63
OKST 53
Final
PSU 79
RUTG 51
Final
ECU 64
TULSA 66
Final
CLEM 59
WAKE 57
Final
HC 76
NAVY 65
 
Final
FUR 82
ALLN 46
 
Final
BU 77
BUCK 92
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 81
JVU 59
 
Final
IUPUI 65
SD 50
 
Final
TENN 61
TEXAM 67
Final
VMI 85
CITA 75
 
Final
INDST 72
LOYC 61
 
Final
WMICH 69
AKR 71
 
Final
MIZZ 60
ARK 61
Final
AFA 68
BSU 77
Final
YALE 69
BRO 65
 
Final
OHIO 63
BUF 61
 
Final
HARV 61
DART 70
 
Final
NEOM 80
DEN 69
 
Final
GWU 74
DUQ 59
Final
KNST 48
FLGC 54
 
Final
UNC 78
FSU 74
Final
TEX 62
KU 75
Final
BST 52
KSU 63
 
Final
LAF 71
LEH 75
 
Final
COL 59
GHND 58
 
Final
WMARY 78
NE 62
 
Final
USCU 91
STET 67
 
Final
WVU 86
TCU 85
Final
MINN 79
ILL 71
Final
MARQ 85
GEOR 95
Final
UGST 75
LALAF 64
 
Final
MNTER 52
RFLSH 40
 
Final
MSST 66
UGA 72
Final
MARS 78
UTEP 71
Final
WKENT 83
TXSA 74
Final
CHIST 41
CALST 57
 
Final
SDU 77
BYU 74
 
Final
WINT 71
CAMP 63
 
Final
TTU 78
ISU 73
Final
HOF 63
JMU 69
 
Final
COOK 70
MDES 74
 
Final
NWST 93
MCNST 67
 
Final
SYR 62
MIAMI 66
Final
NILL 55
UMO 60
 
Final
NEB 79
MSU 77
Final
WYO 63
NMU 62
Final
CCAR 63
PBY 52
 
Final
Terriers 65
RMU 67
 
Final
BRY 66
SHU 83
 
Final
EVAN 75
SILL 66
 
Final
OREG 82
UCLA 64
Final
EILL 52
PEAY 56
 
Final
NCCU 79
COPST 77
 
Final
CMICH 65
EMICH 51
 
Final
RAD 84
LIB 76
 
Final
FD 76
LIU 80
 
Final
MNTST 64
NARZ 71
 
Final
LIP 66
UNF 75
 
Final
EWASH 102
NDAK 80
 
Final
TROY 55
ARKST 64
 
Final
TXST 58
APP 64
 
Final
CSOU 93
GWEBB 80
 
Final
LAMON 53
GSOUT 57
 
Final
ABCHRIST 61
INCWORD 77
 
Final
JVST 63
MORE 66
 
Final
CARK 61
NICST 71
 
Final
UAB 81
ODU 68
Final
SHSU 68
STEPH 79
 
Final
ALAST 84
ALCOR 60
 
Final
MTST 72
CHAR 69
Final
NCAT 52
DELST 67
 
Final
MISS 72
UF 71
Final
SMU 80
HOU 59
Final
FAM 50
HOW 59
 
Final
GRAM 63
JST 74
 
Final
VANDY 75
LSU 79
Final
SCST 63
NORST 76
 
Final
BAY 69
OKLA 58
Final
MVSU 65
PVU 72
 
Final
ARKLR 68
TXARL 75
 
Final
CHAT 81
UNCG 72
 
Final
ORST 59
USC 55
Final
SAV 68
HAMP 66
 
Final
TOL 71
BGU 67
 
Final
UCSB 68
CSFU 49
 
Final
RIDE 59
CAN 46
 
Final
CLMB 47
CORN 57
 
Final
GMAS 73
DAVID 80
Final
ELON 94
DEL 82
 
Final
WOFF 72
ETST 64
 
Final
YOUNG 77
ILLCH 64
 
Final
FRES 66
NEV 62
Final
MAST 77
NDST 71
 
Final
STJOE 52
PENN 56
Final
DAY 63
RICH 60
Final
TENNM 70
SEMIZ 53
 
Final
HIGH 72
UNCA 51
 
Final
CCST 53
WAGN 50
 
Final
SAMF 78
WCU 72
 
Final
MICH 64
WISC 69
Final
UMKC 75
SEAT 55
 
Final
NO 67
TAMCC 71
 
Final
ALAAM 58
SOUTH 65
 
Final
TXPA 73
GRCN 72
 
Final
HOUB 79
LAM 77
 
Final
RICE 45
LATU 58
Final
TULA 55
MEM 57
Final
BRAD 61
MIZST 59
 
Final
SIUE 54
MURST 60
 
Final
GONZ 91
PAC 60
Final
UNT 71
SMISS 75
Final
ORU 72
SDKST 76
 
Final
UNCW 69
TOWS 65
 
Final
UNLV 79
UTST 77
Final
COL 90
WASU 58
Final
ALA 57
AUB 55
 
Final
ARKPB 66
TXSOU 62
 
Final
WEBER 71
SACST 78
 
Final
MONT 58
SUTAH 56
 
Final
NMST 69
WLVRN 44
 
Final
IDST 80
PORST 76
 
1st OT
TENT 79
EKENT 76
 
2nd
CSNO 30
LBSU 36
 
2nd
USF 54
LMU 42
 
2nd
IDAHO 58
NCOL 43
 
2nd
COLST 52
SDST 42
 
2nd
PORT 45
GAELS 47
 
2nd
CPSL 35
UCR 31
 
1st
CAL 19
ARZ 28
 
1st
SCU 15
PEPP 9
 
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