The St. Louis Blues (8-2-2) are looking to regroup on the road Saturday night as they visit the Carolina Hurricanes (10-2-0). St. Louis is coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Nashville on Thursday, while Carolina gave up a pair of goals in the third period to lose 2-1 at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Saturday’s puck drop is at 7:30 ET p.m. on ESPN+
St. Louis Blues Preview
Home on the Road
The St. Louis Blues have a 5-1-1 road record, most recently needing a shootout win to beat the Winnipeg Jets on the road Tuesday. However, upon coming home, the Blues lost 4-3 to the Nashville Predators in overtime.
“I think in the first period, we kind of dictated the play of the game,” Blues forward Jordan Kyrou said. “We were forechecking hard, we were all over the puck making plays.”
Kyrou is the Blues’ leading scorer this season, with five goals and 14 points in 12 games.
“I’m feeling good,” Kyrou added. “I’ve been trying to focus on shooting the puck a little more, trying to get it off my stick a bit quicker.”
Defensemen Torey Krug and Niko Mikkola are in COVID-19 protocol and are questionable to play. Krug is more likely to return to the lineup, but as of writing, his presence is not a guarantee.
Brayden Schenn is day-to-day with an upper body. He did not play Thursday.
Oskar Sundqvist is getting close to a return as well, but is still at least a week away from a return.
Jordan Binnington is the expected starter. This season, Binnington has a 6-2-2 record, along with a 2.58 GAA, a .922 save percentage, and a shutout.
Ville Husso (1-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 save percentage, one shutout) is in line as the backup.
Carolina Hurricanes Preview
Stay Strong in the Third
The Hurricanes are one of the elite defensive teams in the league, conceding a league-best 1.92 goals against per game. They’ve also outscored opponents 14-5 in the third period this season, making Friday’s loss all the more perplexing.
“I think we did it to ourselves,” Hurricanes forward Steven Lorentz said. “It’s too bad. We did play a really, really solid first 40 minutes. It’s too bad that in the third period they kind of beat us at our own game.”
Martin Necas (non-COVID-19 illness) was held out of Friday’s game and is questionable to play Saturday. Nino Niederreiter (lower body) was also a game-time decision for that contest and did not play, nor did Brett Pesce (undisclosed).
Antti Raanta (concussion) was at practice on Friday, but it does not appear he’ll be ready to go Saturday on the second night of a back-to-back.
Frederik Andersen (9-2-0, 1.78 GAA, .938 save percentage, one shutout) is the likely starter for the Hurricanes on Saturday. With a win, Andersen would become the ninth goaltender in NHL history to win at least 10 of his team’s first 12 games to open a season. He’s also allowed two goals or fewer in eight of 11 games.
With Raanta questionable to play, Alex Lyon (career 6-7-2, 3.21 GAA, .893 save percentage in 22 games) is in line as the backup.
Odds and Prediction
Moneyline: St. Louis Blues (+115) at Carolina Hurricanes (-135)
Puck Line: St. Louis Blues +1.5 goals (-200) at Carolina Hurricanes -1.5 goals (+170)
Total: Over 5.5 goals (-115), Under 5.5 goals (-105)
Carolina’s top-notch defense is likely too much for the Blues to handle in this one. Despite averaging 3.00 goals per game this season, St. Louis has exceeded three goals once in its past eight contests.
This should be a close, well-fought game, but the value isn’t there for a puck line pick. If you are going to bet online, roll with the Hurricanes on the moneyline.