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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 16th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Blues (22-6-3) at Ottawa Senators (13-15-6), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott is expected to face his former Ottawa team for just the second time in his career on Monday night when the Blues visit the Senators.

Elliott was a ninth-round pick by the Senators in 2003 and made 130 appearances with the club, including a career-high 48 starts in 2009-10. He went 29-18-4 with a 2.57 goals against average in 55 games that season, but was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche during the following campaign on Feb. 18, 2011 for Craig Anderson.

Elliott has formed a solid goaltending tandem with Jaroslav Halak since joining the Blues, but has been limited to just eight starts this season to Halak's 23.

The 28-year-old Elliott faced the Senators for the first time in his career on Feb. 7, 2012 in Ottawa and stopped 28-of-29 shots faced in a 3-1 win.

The Blues will return home to face San Jose on Tuesday, so Elliott will go tonight with Halak likely to start the following night. Halak made 30 saves in a 4-3 overtime in over Columbus on Saturday.

David Backes scored 22 seconds into the bonus frame, swiping the puck away from a Blue Jackets player, shaking a defender and going top shelf to beat Mike McKenna for his fourth goal in the past five contests.

Vladimir Tarasenko added a pair of goals and Chris Stewart scored for the Blues, winners in three straight.

"We had the good and bad right throughout the game," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Every part of our game was bad and good. We had good early then bad for a long stretch, then we started to come on again."

The Sens and Anderson are looking to shake off a bad game on Saturday, when they fell in defeat 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings. Anderson had a forgettable night, yielding two goals on four shots before getting lifted less than five minutes into the game.

Anderson is just 9-8-3 with a 3.37 goals against average and .898 save percentage this season. He is 4-2-0 with a 3.29 GAA versus the Blues.

Robin Lehner made 19 saves on 22 shots faced in relief on Saturday, while Joe Corvo and Erik Karlsson had the goals in Ottawa's fourth loss in six games.

"We are trying to be a better team at home. To lose this game takes a little bit of momentum away from us," said Ottawa captain Jason Spezza.

Senators defenseman Jared Cowen is eligible to return after serving a two-game suspension for a hit to the head last Tuesday versus Buffalo.

The Blues have won two straight over the Senators since a five-game series losing streak. Their 3-1 win at Ottawa on Feb. 7, 2012 snapped a five-game road skid to the Sens and was the Blues' first victory in Ottawa since Jan. 26, 2000.

12/16 10:40:26 ET

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MIN 84
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