The Blues will try to rebound from a one-goal loss to their archrivals when they take on the woeful Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
St. Louis had its nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2) snapped with a 2-1 loss in Detroit on Monday. The Blues are 9-2-3 since Nov. 29, with both defeats coming by one goal to the Red Wings. St. Louis did manage a 4-4 tie with Detroit on Dec. 4.
“We made a couple of key errors that cost us,” Blues wing Scott Mellanby said. “It’s part of hockey.”
The Blues played Monday’s game short-handed as leading goal-scorer Keith Tkachuk (ankle infection) and promising center Petr Cajanek (sore neck) were sidelined by injuries. Both could be available for Tuesday’s game.
Despite Monday’s loss, goaltender Chris Osgood has been outstanding of late, boasting a .929 save percentage (197-for-212) and going 6-1-2 over his last nine appearances.
Winners of just one game in December (1-5-3), the Blackhawks are coming off their most inspired effort of the season.
Chicago played defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey to a 2-2 tie at the United Center on Sunday in a game which honored the memory of former Blackhawks defenseman Keith Magnuson, who was killed in a three-car accident on Dec. 15 in Toronto.
“As a team we showed a lot of character for tonight’s people and for the Magnuson family,” Nieminen said. “We really played our hearts out. I thought that was the greatest hockey game in this building this year.”
Chicago defenseman Steve Poapst left with an injured leg in the second period but is expected to play Tuesday against St. Louis.