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Sunday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Blues (47-16-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (46-19-5), 1 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The playoff-bound St. Louis Blues will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins for Sunday's showdown between first-place clubs.

St. Louis is coming off consecutive losses to Chicago and Philadelphia and was outscored by a combined 8-1 margin in the two setbacks.

Despite getting dealt a regulation loss by the Flyers on Saturday, the Blues were still able to clinch a playoff spot by the end of the day after Phoenix lost in regulation to Boston. St. Louis is the first team from the West to officially claim a postseason berth.

The Blues haven't lost three straight in the regular season since an 0-3-0 slide from March 24-28 of last season. St. Louis did drop four in a row against Los Angeles in the opening round of last spring's playoffs after taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

St. Louis still leads the Central Division with 101 points, but Chicago is only four points behind. The Blackhawks, who have played one more game than the Blues, are hosting Nashville on Sunday.

San Jose is one point behind the Blues for the conference lead. The Sharks are idle on Sunday.

After beginning a four-game road trip by absorbing a 4-0 loss to the rival Blackhawks on Wednesday, the Blues were handed a 4-1 setback Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

St. Louis fired 33 shots at Steve Mason, but the Flyers goaltender stopped 32 of them. The Blues also came up empty on six power-play opportunities.

"We were really good in the first and then didn't outwork the goalie in the third. You're down 2-1 and have the chances you get in the third period you have to outwork the goalie," offered Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. "I thought his level of compete was harder than ours in and around the net area and we couldn't get the second and third chances that we probably need to."

Jaden Schwartz provided the lone offense for the Blues, who have lost two in a row for the first time since Feb. 26-28.

Ryan Miller came up with just 15 saves in his second regulation defeat as starter for St. Louis. Miller is 7-2-1 with a 2.03 goals against average in 10 games since coming over to the Blues in a trade with Buffalo.

Brian Elliott will get the start in net for the Blues on Sunday. He is 4-1-1 with a 2.63 GAA and .925 save percentage in seven career games against the Penguins.

Pittsburgh, which holds a 14-point lead over Philadelphia for first place in the Metropolitan Division, won for the second time in three games with Saturday's overtime victory against visiting Tampa Bay.

James Neal kept Pittsburgh's winning streak over the Lightning intact, notching the game-winning goal 1:27 into OT. The 4-3 win kicked marked a positive start to a four-game homestand for the Penguins, who boast a 26-5-2 record as the host this season.

Evgeni Malkin scored twice in the final 8:53 of regulation and added two assists, including one on the deciding goal. With the Penguins on a 4-on-3 advantage in the extra frame thanks to a too many men on the ice penalty, Malkin sent a pass down to Neal in the right circle, and Neal beat Anders Lindback with a one-timer to the far side.

Malkin has four goals and two assists over his last two outings. He had been pointless in three straight tilts before breaking out over the last two games.

The Penguins converted on 3-of-6 power-play chances and have now beaten the Lightning nine straight times. Jeff Zatkoff made 21 saves for the win, and Sidney Crosby recorded a goal and two assists.

Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat scored with 1:22 left in regulation to force overtime before Neal provided the game-winner.

Marc-Andre Fleury expects to start in net for Pittsburgh today. He is 3-3-1 with a 2.44 GAA and .923 save percentage in seven career outings against the Blues.

Sunday's tilt marks the first of three straight home games against Western Conference opponents for Pittsburgh, which hosts Phoenix on Tuesday and Los Angeles on Thursday. The Pens are 14-6-1 against the West this season.

The Blues will try to sweep the two-game season series against Pittsburgh on Sunday. St. Louis recorded a 2-1 regulation win over a visiting Penguins team on Nov. 9. It was the third win in four meetings for the Blues, who are 3-1-1 over their last five trips to Steel City.

03/23 10:42:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
2nd
NCSU 50
ND 45
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
3rd
NOP 81
DAL 74
 
3rd
ORL 74
IND 73
 
3rd
PHO 72
LAC 85
 
3rd
ATL 79
MIN 71
 
2nd
TOR 38
DET 34
 
2nd
SAN 29
MIL 37
 
8:00pm Tonight
GSW
BOS
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
HOU
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Half
TENST 30
BEL 28
 
2nd
NCSU 50
ND 45
 
1st
VILL 24
CREI 11
 
1st
MD 5
NW 6
 
8:30pm Tonight
UTAH
WASH
3rd
TEAMFOLI 11
TEAMTOEWS 15
 
8:15pm Tonight
CARTER
IRVIN