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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
UCF 66
ECU 71
 
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
 
1st
MIAMI 23
UNC 26
 
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
DET
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
ATL
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MEM
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
BRK
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
MIL
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
Final
LIP 94
KNST 75
 
Final
GHND 47
NAVY 57
 
Final
LAF 74
ARMY 64
 
Final
AMER 69
BUCK 71
 
Final
UCF 66
ECU 71
 
Final
STJ 81
GEOR 70
 
Final
CLEM 70
GT 63
 
Final
COL 61
LEH 55
 
Final
FSU 59
LOU 81
Final
MD 66
MICH 56
Final
UGA 68
MIZZ 44
 
Final
BC 79
NCSU 63
 
Final
LAS 56
RIU 59
 
Final
UNH 65
MAINE 56
 
2nd
IUPUI 59
NEOM 62
 
2nd
WINT 72
PBY 48
 
2nd
VMI 43
SAMF 52
 
2nd
CITA 45
WCU 56
 
1st
DEP 24
BUT 29
 
1st
LONG 28
CAMP 12
 
Half
TULA 16
CIN 30
 
1st
VCU 29
DAY 33
 
1st
TOWS 23
DEL 22
 
Half
WMARY 21
DREX 37
 
1st
JVU 31
FLGC 22
 
1st
EVAN 15
ILLST 20
 
1st
BRAD 20
INDST 25
 
1st
MIAMI 23
UNC 26
 
1st
WICHS 36
NIOWA 26
 
1st
UWGB 33
OU 26
 
1st
LSU 21
MISS 26
 
1st
OKLA 25
TCU 36
 
1st
BING 25
UMBC 16
 
1st
AFA 20
UTST 30
 
1st
GTDNS 35
VERM 35
 
1st
XAV 32
VILL 30
 
1st
MNTER 34
WAGN 25
 
1st
ILLCH 20
WRST 16
 
1st
YALE 2
SARAHLAW 2
 
3:00pm Today
UAB
MTST
3:00pm Today
NDAK
SUTAH
 
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LIB
UNCA
 
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CHIST
WLVRN
 
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UMO
BGU
 
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SHU
LIU
 
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APP
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
VANDY
ALA
4:00pm Today
KENT
ARK
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
4:00pm Today
MRGST
COPST
 
4:00pm Today
SHU
CREI
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BONA
DUQ
4:00pm Today
MERC
ETST
 
4:00pm Today
UMASS
FORD
4:00pm Today
RAD
GWEBB
 
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JMU
HOF
 
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BU
HC
 
4:00pm Today
KYST
ISU
4:00pm Today
DELST
MDES
 
4:00pm Today
LOYC
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
IDAHO
MNTST
 
4:00pm Today
MCNST
NICST
 
4:00pm Today
TTU
OKST
4:00pm Today
PORT
SDU
 
4:00pm Today
BRY
Terriers
 
4:00pm Today
RMU
RFLSH
 
4:00pm Today
UVA
VT
4:00pm Today
BAY
WVU
4:00pm Today
FUR
WOFF
 
4:05pm Today
SILL
DRAK
 
4:30pm Today
FD
CCST
 
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WMICH
EMICH
 
4:30pm Today
CSOU
HIGH
 
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UNCG
CHAT
 
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SD
SDKST
 
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CARK
SELA
 
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KU
TEX
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EWASH
MONT
 
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UGST
 
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TXST
ARKST
 
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UNT
ODU
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CORN
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NCAT
FAM
 
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PSU
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MORE
JVST
 
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SCAR
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BRO
PRIN
 
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NEV
SJST
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SAV
 
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BEL
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TENN
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ALAST
TXSOU
 
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SOUTH
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MVSU
 
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SEMIZ
PEAY
 
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TOL
BST
 
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KSU
BUF
 
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LBSU
CSFU
 
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STLU
GMAS
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GWU
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HOW
HAMP
 
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CLMB
HARV
 
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LAM
INCWORD
 
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YOUNG
UWMIL
 
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TENNM
MURST
 
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UNCW
 
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ILL
NW
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YALE
PENN
 
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ALAAM
PVU
 
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STJOE
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UNF
STET
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
USB
 
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DUKE
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
EKENT
TENT
 
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TXSA
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USCU
 
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GRCN
 
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NO
ABCHRIST
 
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BSU
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CHAR
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DEN
 
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NE
 
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SHSU
 
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UTEP
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WYO
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GSOUT
 
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AUB
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GRAM
 
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ARZ
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NARZ
 
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GONZ
BYU
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WEBER
IDST
 
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FRES
NMU
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PAC
 
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CPSL
UCD
 
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PORST
SACST
 
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SEAT
CALST
 
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CSNO
UCR
 
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USC
WASH
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
3:00pm Today
FLA
BUF
3:00pm Today
NAS
DET
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
5:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
5:30pm Tonight
BOS
ARI
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYR
10:00pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
OTT
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
STL