Blues vs. WildOzark Radio News

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BLUE AGAINST. WILD

When: Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m. CT
Or: Enterprise Center in St. Louis, MO
Watch: Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports App
Listen: Q94 93.9 fm
Tickets: Buy online at ticketmaster.com

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TEAM SNAPSHOT

BLUES The St. Louis Blues did what they needed to on Wednesday night to keep their momentum going as they look to Friday’s showdown with the Minnesota Wild.

Robert Thomas, Justin Faulk, Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly scored as the Blues handled the Kraken with a 4-1 win at home, extending their scoring streak to six straight games (5-0-1). Thomas continued his elite playing streak, winning a seven-game career point streak and recording four goals and eight assists.

After a tough March that saw the Blues fall into Wild Card positioning, the club has regained some momentum and sits just one point behind Minnesota for second place in the division. The Blues are as aware as anyone of the stakes ahead of Friday’s game.

“It’s going to be a big game,” Colton Parayko said with fresh stitches in his upper lip after taking a high stick from Kraken in Wednesday’s game. “Two teams, one point apart so far in the season, that’s obviously a big game – 12 games to go.”

If the season ended after Wednesday night’s games, the Blues would pull Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs — but lose home ice advantage, playing the first two games in wild territory. With two games against the Wild still to play – both at Enterprise Center – the Blues have a major opportunity to reverse their position and claim the advantage.

“Big game, second place on the line,” Blues head coach Craig Berube said. “They play really well, this team (from Minnesota). It’s a physical and tough hockey team, they come to you and they can score goals.

The Blues enter the highly anticipated game with a 40-20-10 record, worth 90 points and third in the Central Division.

WILD The Minnesota Wild have arguably been the hottest team in the NHL during this recent streak. The Wild won seven straight between March 16 and March 29 and maintained the point streak for three more games before falling in regulation to Nashville on Tuesday.

The battle with the Predators in Nashville was physical, seeing seven different players serving time in the penalty area in major fights. Nashville defenseman Mark Borowiecki dropped the gloves twice, clashing with Wild forwards Marcus Foligno and recent trade acquisition Nicolas Deslauriers.

Nashville emerged victorious 6-2, prompted by a hat trick from Ryan Johansen – the first of his career after 774 games and 11 seasons in the NHL.

Tuesday was goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s first loss with his new team after being acquired by the Wild at the Trade Deadline this season. Fleury is 3-1-0 since joining Minnesota, posting a 2.30 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. With Fleury splitting time with Cam Talbot, it remains to be seen which goaltender will start Friday’s game.

Sophomore forward Kirill Kaprizov has burst this season for the Wild, leading the team with 87 points and playing in 68 of a possible 69 games this season. The 2020-21 Calder Trophy winner scored his 40th goal of the season in the loss to Nashville and sits seventh in the League on Thursday afternoon.

Minnesota brings a 43-21-5 record to St. Louis, worth 91 points and a very slim advantage for second place in the Central Division.

FACE-TO-FACE The Blues have seen division rival Wild only once this season, winning 6-4 in the icy Winter Classic on January 1. in a nationally televised afternoon game.

The Blues have collected points in eight straight games against Minnesota (7-0-1), including a three-game winning streak.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BLUES Jordan Kyrou netted his 23rd goal of the season on Wednesday and is hoping to get back on track after a cold spell with illness. Kyrou stole the show at the Winter Classic against Minnesota, scoring two goals and providing two assists in the victory.

WILD Kirill Kaprizov had three points in the Winter Classic and played a major role in Minnesota’s recent streak. The 24-year-old forward had seven goals and two assists in the Wild’s seven-game winning streak.

BLUE TICKETS

The Blues have won five straight games against Minnesota at Enterprise Center, outscoring them 25-7 in that span… O’Reilly’s empty-net goal on Wednesday extended their point streak to five games, now three goals away from joining seven other Blues in the 20-goal Club… O’Reilly (5), Thomas (7), Brayden Schenn (6), Ivan Barbashev (4) and Pavel Buchnevich (4) all had active streaks four or more games in Friday’s game.

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