Ducks start road trip with game against champs

Field Level Media

The St. Louis Blues keep amassing points, but they will try to get back on the winning track when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.

The defending Stanley Cup champions have lost their past two games, 3-2 in a shootout to the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, then 3-2 in overtime to the host Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

However, St. Louis extended its points streak to nine games (7-0-2). The Blues have sustained just three regulation losses in their first 20 games this season, tied for the lowest regulation-defeat total in the NHL.

Meanwhile, the Ducks are starting a four-game road trip after going winless (0-3-2) in the final five games of their seven-game homestand. They have allowed 19 goals in their past four games.

"You know, obviously not the way we wanted it to go," Ducks forward Adam Henrique said, "So now we have to go out on the road and make sure that we have a good road trip."

In their most recent game, the Ducks blew a 2-1 lead in the second period Thursday night and fell 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks.

"I don't care if you're at home or on the road, man, every point that slips out of our hand is a missed opportunity," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said postgame. "It's just like getting a firm kick. But we will try to build off the positives, and in the places we can get better, we will try to correct that and get ready for the road."

Goalie John Gibson has started 15 of 20 games for the Ducks this season. However, he has struggled in his career against the Blues, going 3-5-1 in nine starts with a 3.17 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage.

Henrique (five assists) and winger Jakob Silfverberg (two goals, three assists) carry four-game points streaks into Saturday for the Ducks.

Anaheim ranks 29th in the NHL on the power play with a dismal 9.4 percent conversion rate, but Silfverberg scored his first power-play goal in the Sharks game.

"Those players and (assistant coach) Mark Morrison have been working extremely hard at it, so it's good to see them get rewarded for their hard work," Eakins said.

The Blues rank just 17th in penalty killing heading into Saturday with 80 percent efficiency, but coach Craig Berube gave the unit good marks.

"There's been mistakes that happen and they got on the net," he said. "Some of the mistakes shouldn't happen. They're mistakes that we normally don't make. If you look at the PK overall this season, I think we've done a pretty good job of limiting shots and things like that. Sometimes you just have to stay with it and it turns around.

"Fifteen kills and that gets your percentage right back up there. I think it's good, the PK, but we've got to limit the big mistake, and sometimes you have to get a save there, too."

The Blues are likely to start Jordan Binnington in goal at Enterprise Center after starting Jake Allen on Friday. Binnington has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his last nine starts.

St. Louis recalled forward prospect Klim Kostin from San Antonio of the AHL, but he did not play Friday. The 20-year-old Russian had three goals and five assists in 14 games for the Blues' top affiliate this season.

Regarding whether Kostin will play against the Ducks, Berube said, "He gets another skate and stuff. We'll see. Maybe (Saturday)."

--Field Level Media

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