Columbus (8-15-2) at St. Louis (18-6-1)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Tue Dec 16, 2003
  • TV: FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Still searching for their first road win of the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets go up against one of the NHL’s best home teams as they visit the St. Louis Blues.

Columbus has lost each of its last five road games, and is a dismal 0-10-1-1 away from home this season. The Blue Jackets are winless in 14 road games dating to last season (0-12-1-1).

That streak continued on Saturday night as the Blue Jackets remained the only NHL team without a road win this season, allowing three one-goal leads to slip away in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Columbus, in the midst of playing 11 of 16 games away from home, is also winless in five straight overall.

“It’s tough, because every time we go on the road we think we’re going to get the monkey off our backs and we have disappointing efforts,” Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash said. “When you don’t come ready to play, it’s disappointing.”

Columbus now faces the daunting task of beating St. Louis on its home ice. The Blues are 10-2-1 at the Savvis Center this season, and are 6-1-1 all-time at home against the Blue Jackets.

St. Louis has won four in a row, and is unbeaten in six straight overall after beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 at home on Saturday.

Pavol Demitra and Eric Nickulas scored first-period goals and Chris Osgood made 21 saves as the Blues improved to 13-6 in one-goal games this season and 18-6-2-1 overall.

“I’d love to have a blowout, but it’s not in the cards right now,” Blues center Doug Weight said. “We have to be great defensively. We might win three in a row 6-1 or 6-3 or 6-4 if we just let loose. But we’re not going to be 18-6 if we’re playing that type of game.”

Osgood earned his 289th career victory, which ranks sixth among active goaltenders.

“I think we’d like to score a little more and we’ve been having some trouble putting teams away after getting leads but we held the fort,” Osgood said. “Hey, it’s a tough league. I mean every team is good and there are no easy nights.”

STANDINGS (through Dec. 14): Blue Jackets - 22 points, 5th place, 18 PB, Central Division. Blues - 39 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Nash, 19 goals and 23 points; Todd Marchant, 11 assists; Jody Shelley, 83 PIM. Blues - Keith Tkachuk, 15 goals; Demitra, 18 assists and 28 points; Chris Pronger, 54 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 14): Blue Jackets - Power play: 15.6 percent (23 for 147), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (100 for 121), 22nd. Blues - Power play: 21.4 percent (24 for 112), 5th. Penalty killing: 87.6 percent (113 for 129), 3rd.

GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (7-12-3, 2 SO, 2.66 GAA); Fred Brathwaite (1-5-1, 3.02). Blues - Osgood (15-6-1, 2, 2.08); Brent Johnson (3-1-1, 1, 2.07).

SEASON SERIES: Blues, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Friday; Blues, 3-2, OT. At Columbus, Ohio, Nash scored midway through the third period as the Blue Jackets came back from a two-goal deficit, but Weight’s goal with 8.7 seconds left in overtime gave St. Louis the win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 0-10-1-1 on the road; Blues - 10-2-1-0 at home.

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