Leafs Will End Their Losing Streak & Extend Blues’ Skid

Matthew Jordan

Monday, January 15, 2018 5:34 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 5:34 PM UTC

The St. Louis Blues are on a three-game losing streak as they make their only visit of season Tuesday night to Toronto, which has dropped its past two.

St. Louis Blues at Toronto Maple LeafsFree NHL Pick: LeafsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s a 7 p.m. ET puck drop Tuesday from the Air Canada Centre and last meeting of the season between the Blues and Maple Leafs, although it’s not impossible they face off in the Stanley Cup Finals. At 5Dimes, Toronto is +1275 to win the Cup and St. Louis is +1600.

The clubs met back on Nov. 4 and St. Louis won 6-4 at home. Jayden Schwartz (more on him shortly) was the No. 1 star with three assists. Alex Pietrangelo had two goals and Brayden Schenn four assists. Each team had three goals in the third period. Jake Allen made 26 saves. Tyler Bozak scored twice for the Leafs and Frederik Andersen made 27 saves. St. Louis has won three straight in the series overall.

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Both Teams Off Bye Weeks

St. Louis (26-17-3) is on its third three-game losing streak of the season – it hasn’t dropped four in a row – as it comes out of its bye week. The offense has been just fine during this skid with 10 goals, but the Blues have allowed 17. The Blues were most recently in action on Jan. 9 vs. Florida and lost 7-4, blowing leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Allen stopped 18 of 23 shots before he was replaced by Carter Hutton, who finished with 11 saves. Allen has lost his past four, so I would think it would be Hutton in net here. He has been largely terrific in 16 games, going 8-3-1 with a 1.84 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. Those numbers are both tops in the NHL and significantly better than Allen’s (2.75 & .908).

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.@apetro_27 & @bschenn_10 will represent the #stlblues at the 2018 #NHLAllStar Game in Tampa! https://t.co/C7k6IXTHwB pic.twitter.com/p4WuRIIQwe

— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 10, 2018

The Blues have two All-Stars in Schenn and Pietrangelo. How was right winger Vladimir Tarasenko overlooked? He leads the team with 19 goals and is tied with Schenn for the team lead in points with 44. Tarasenko has four goals and five assists in the last nine games. St. Louis remains without left wing and third-leading scorer Schwartz (14 goals, 21 assists). He hasn’t played since Dec. 9 due to an ankle injury but might be back by the end of the month. The Blues are 6-9-1 without him. The power play has been a problem all season as the Blues convert just 15 percent of the time, 29th in the NHL.

Toronto (25-17-3) also comes off its bye week and has dropped two straight, most recently last Wednesday at home vs. Ottawa, 4-3. The Leafs put 48 shots on Senators goaltender Craig Anderson but were 0-for-3 with the man advantage. They are a solid power-play team, converting 20.9 percent (11th). The Leafs have just one All-Star, reining Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews. He leads the team with 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) but missed a handful of games due to injury (back and concussion). Defenseman Nikita Zaitsev has missed the last 11 games with a broken foot and won’t be back for at least another week.

Should be Andersen in net; he’s 22-13-2 with a 2.69 GAA and .921 save percentage. The former Duck is 4-4-1 in nine career games vs. the Blues with 2.92 GAA and .911 save percentage. Andersen has faced more shots this season (1,261) by far than any other netminder.

St. Louis is 1-6 in it past seven away from home, while the Leafs have won their past five on at least three days of rest. Toronto is the home NHL pick.

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