The St. Louis Blues know that if they want to be a serious playoff contender, they must play well at home.
Continued struggles on the road could again keep the Anaheim Ducks from a successful season.
The Blues seek a second consecutive home victory while handing the Ducks a third straight road loss Monday night.
Thanks to a 23-13-5 home record, St. Louis made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons in 2008-09. However, the Blues failed to carry that home success over to last season. Despite winning their final six games at home, the Blues finished 18-18-5 at Scottrade Center and missed the playoffs.
After having their postseason momentum stalled, the Blues showed how determined they are to improve their play at home with a 2-1 overtime victory over Stanley Cup finalist Philadelphia to open the season Saturday.
“We are off to a good start at home, obviously it was a killer for us last year and we want to make this a tough place to play,” said defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo(notes), who scored the winner at 1:47 of overtime.
St. Louis has a good chance to do that Monday. The Blues have totaled 20 goals while going 4-1-1 at home versus Anaheim since the start of the 2007-08 season. Boyes, who also scored Saturday, has three goals and an assist against the Ducks during that span.
The Ducks (0-2-0), who went 14-21-6 on the road and missed the playoffs in 2008-09, have been outscored 8-1 heading into the finale of a season-opening three-game road swing.
“It’s great to win that first game,” said Halak, who was traded to St. Louis after helping Montreal to the Eastern Conference finals. “I felt comfortable out there.”
Halak has a 3.54 goals-against average in two games against the Ducks, but stopped all 21 shots he faced after replacing Carey Price(notes) in a 4-3 shootout win for the Canadiens at Anaheim on March 7.
“It’s tough having to play from behind all the time, but it is only (two games) right now,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf(notes) said. “We’re a learning team right now, and we have to take things and go forward with it.”
Getzlaf has four assists in his last three games at St. Louis. Koivu had two assists in a 4-2 home win over St. Louis on Jan 7. Teemu Selanne(notes), who assisted on Koivu’s goal, has eight goals and eight assists in his last 14 games versus St. Louis.
Backup Curtis Elhinney is 0-3-0 with a 4.06 GAA versus St. Louis.
Anaheim is trying to avoid starting 0-3 for the second time in three seasons.