Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Carolina leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 11th
Hurricanes2Final
SO
Blues1

Hurricanes 2

(12-12-4, 28 pts)

Blues 1

(14-9-5, 33 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 11, 2010

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 SO T
CAR 0 0 1 12
STL 0 0 1 01

J. Jokinen (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

C. Ward (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 38, Save Pct.: .974

J. Halak (Blues - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

Hurricanes-Blues Preview

STATS LLC

The St. Louis Blues have among the fewest power-play goals in the NHL this season. It was hard to tell in their last game.

The Blues go for their third straight win Saturday night when they host a Carolina Hurricanes club that's lost nine of 12.

After going 22 straight chances without converting, St. Louis (14-9-4), which has 16 power-play goals in 107 opportunities this season, netted a season-high three with the man advantage in Thursday's 4-1 victory over Columbus.

Alex Steen, Jay McClement and Vladimir Sobotka, who moved up to the first line with Brad Boyes and David Backes, found the back of the net as the Blues recorded their most power-play goals since a 7-2 victory at Edmonton last Dec. 21.

"Quick movement. I thought we moved around well, supported each other, but the puck moved quick, too," said Steen, who has four goals in his last four games to match his total from the season's first 23 contests.

Blues coach Davis Payne is also looking for another strong effort from his penalty-kill unit, which has stopped all 14 chances over the last three games, including eight on Thursday.

"I think our guys did a great job, especially on the (penalty) kill," goaltender Jaroslav Halak said after turning away 27 shots. "We gave up eight penalty kills and we killed them all, so it was a huge effort from our guys.

"We had two 5-on-3s, and the guys who were out there, they did an amazing job. They were skating and blocking the shots. I don't think they got many shots on the 5-on-3s."

Halak, 1-2-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average in three starts against Carolina while with Montreal, will likely make his fifth consecutive start Saturday and face a Hurricanes club that is 0 for 18 on the power play over the last five games.

Five of those chances came in Friday's 2-1 shootout loss at Dallas, as Carolina (11-12-3) had an unsuccessful return from in their first game in six days.

The Southeast Division-worst Hurricanes, who have lost seven of eight away from home, will likely have Cam Ward in net as they make the third stop on their five-game trip. Ward made 28 saves through overtime Friday.

"It's always tough when you lose in a shootout," he said. "I thought it was a pretty up-tempo game, both teams were pretty stingy."

In Carolina's last trip to St. Louis on Oct. 30, 2008, Ward stopped 19 shots and earned his seventh career shutout -- a 1-0 victory that helped Carolina end a three-game skid visiting the Blues.

Ward, one victory shy of 150 for his career, is 3-1-0 with a 1.75 GAA in four starts versus St. Louis.

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, the team leader with 12 goals and 28 points, has gone a season-high three straight games without a point. The center has four goals and three assists in his last five games against St. Louis. He had an assist in a 5-2 home loss to the Blues on Oct. 28, 2009.

McClement, who found the back of the net in that victory, scored for the first time in 18 games Thursday.

"It's been a while since I had a power-play goal, but it felt good to finally contribute," he said after scoring off a redirect from defenseman Erik Johnson, who has five of his nine assists in the last five games.

SPONSORED HEADLINES