Series (Game 2 of 2)

St. Louis leads 2-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 30th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 21st

Blues 4

(16-12-5, 37 pts)

Jets 2

(19-12-5, 43 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 21, 2010

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
STL 1 1 24
WPG 1 0 12

A. Steen (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Boyes (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Little (Jets - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Blues-Thrashers Preview


The Atlanta Thrashers' first stay atop the Southeast Division in more than two years lasted less than 24 hours, but they're back in first place after their latest victory.

If they keep scoring the way they have lately, they might have a great chance of staying there.

Atlanta has scored 13 goals in its past two wins, an offensive surge it'll look to continue Tuesday night at Philips Arena as it tries to avenge an early season loss to the St. Louis Blues.

The Thrashers (19-11-5) are the second-highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference at 3.26 goals per game, but they've greatly exceeded that average in their last two contests.

Atlanta beat New Jersey 7-1 on Saturday to jump on top of the Southeast for the first time since Oct. 10, 2008, though it fell back into second after Washington's win in Ottawa on Sunday. That didn't bother the Thrashers, who scored twice Monday within the first three minutes of a 6-3 victory at Toronto to move back atop the division.

"Our feeling in the dressing room is that everyone's involved in the offense," coach Craig Ramsay told "Everybody has to be involved in the offense. We don't designate a scorer, we don't designate checkers. We expect everybody to participate, and that's what we're getting."

Atlanta has outscored its opponents 57-29 since Nov. 19 while grabbing 26 of a possible 32 points -- the most in the NHL over that stretch.

On Tuesday, the Thrashers should be eager to make up for a point they missed out on Oct. 30 at St. Louis. Atlanta led 3-1 after 53 minutes, but Blues center Jay McClement completed his first career hat trick by scoring twice in the third period as St. Louis escaped with a 4-3 shootout win.

That was the Blues' fourth straight victory during a seven-game streak that propelled them to a 9-1-2 start, but since then they've barely resembled the team that allowed an NHL-low 1.42 goals per game in that stretch.

St. Louis (15-12-5) has surrendered 3.55 goals per contest since then -- the worst in the West -- while going 6-11-3. It also had problems offensively in Monday's 3-1 loss to Vancouver.

"There wasn't a lot of space or opportunity to be had out there," coach Davis Payne said. "You had to fight for everything you got.

"We beat people with real smart, predictable plays on our own part. That's something we're going to have to address and make sure it shows up in Atlanta."

The Blues fell to 10-4-2 at home, where they've played their last three games and will play their next five after returning from Atlanta.

On the road, St. Louis is just 2-7-1 since Nov. 10, and its special teams have played a big role in those struggles. The Blues are 4 for 27 (14.8 percent) on the power play in the stretch, while their opponents are 11 for 41 (26.8 percent) with the man advantage.

St. Louis is 4-10-1 when it gives up a power-play goal. At 22.5 percent, Atlanta's power play ranks sixth in the league.