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Blues take aim at 8th straight win in clash with Canucks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The hard-charging St. Louis Blues will aim for an eighth straight victory and sole possession of first place in the Central Division when they visit the sliding Vancouver Canucks for Friday's test at Rogers Arena.

The Blues have won seven straight games and enter Friday tied atop the Central with the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams have 67 points, but St. Louis has three games in hand and it will use one of them tonight as the Blackhawks are idle.

St. Louis, which is 9-0-1 over its last 10 games, has scored five goals or more in each of its last four games and the Blues slammed the Calgary Flames 5-0 in Thursday's tilt at the Saddledome. Jaroslav Halak posted 33 stops for his third shutout of the season in the easy road victory.

Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist, while Chris Stewart, Alex Pietrangelo and Ian Cole all scored for the Blues, who are on their longest winning streak since a nine-game run from Oct. 15-Nov. 5, 2002.

"It's nice to string a couple together here," said St. Louis center David Backes said. "It seems like you have to stay paced with some of these other teams in the West."

St. Louis will aim for a fifth straight road victory on Friday when it caps a three-game swing. The Blues are 14-4-3 as the visiting team this season.

While the Blues are on a big hot streak, the Canucks have matched a season- long skid with five consecutive losses. Vancouver is 0-2-3 during its current losing streak, matching another five-game slide (0-3-2) from Nov. 9-19.

Vancouver hasn't dropped six in a row since an eight-game losing streak from Jan. 9-31, 2009.

The club's two most recent losses have come after regulation, including a 5-4 shootout setback against visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Although they trailed 2-0 early on, Vancouver scored four unanswered goals and led the game 4-2 after Zack Kassian scored with 6:36 left in the third period. However, the Penguins managed to even things before the end of regulation.

Kris Letang tallied for the Pens with 1:11 left in the third before Sidney Crosby notched the equalizer just 16 seconds later. Crosby also scored the lone goal of the shootout to help Pittsburgh grab the extra point.

Kassian and Chris Higgins each had a goal and an assist, while Eddie Lack posted 31 saves in a losing effort. Jason Garrison and Christopher Tanev also added goals for the Canucks.

"We dominated for 18 minutes in the third (period). In the end, they were better than us. They got the job done," said Tanev.

Vancouver suffered its third straight home loss, dropping the club to 11-6-5 this season at Rogers Arena.

With Roberto Luongo out due to an upper-body injury, Lack is expected to start in net again on Friday.

The Canucks have won two of three and four of their last six games against the Blues and they posted a 3-2 overtime victory in St. Louis on Oct. 25. Ryan Kesler scored the OT winner in that one and Lack picked up the win with 22 saves.

01/10 10:54:56 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Rangers «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. New York leads series, 1-0.
Chicago3Final(OT3) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota4Final(OT) | Box
Colorado «5Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Los Angeles3Final | Box
San Jose «6Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
Final
TEX 8
SEA 6
Final
SFG 1
LOS 2
Final
SDP 1
COL 3
Final
PIT 11
MIL 2
Final
WAS 0
STL 8
Final
TAM 2
NYY 10
Final
MIN 9
TOR 5
Final
CWS 1
BOS 3
Final
HOU 1
KAN 5
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
Final
NYR 4
PHI 1
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
COL 5
MIN 4
Final
SJS 6
LOS 3
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
DET
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR