Blues 'bearing down' with visit from Kraken ahead

Blues ‘bearing down’ with visit from Kraken ahead

The St. Louis Blues will try to extend their domination of the Pacific Division when they host the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday.

The Blues (39-20-10. 88 points) are 14-3-3 against Pacific teams. They won their two previous games against the Kraken (22-41-6, 50 points) this season, prevailing 2-1 at home on Jan. 13 and 5-0 in Seattle on Jan. 21.

St. Louis carries a five-game point streak (4-0-1) into Wednesday’s game. After earning five of six points during a road swing at Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, the Blues opened the current four-game homestand with a 5-1 victory over Arizona on Monday.

That improved their home record to 22-9-4. The Blues, who are third place in the Central Division, are looking to secure their place in the Western Conference playoff bracket.

“It’s coming down to crunch time,” Blues center Robert Thomas said. “You look at the standings, how close everything is, every point matters so much. That was a great road trip for us. That’s a bunch of tough teams and tough travel times and all that stuff.

“… So I think the guys are bearing down and we’re getting second, third efforts from everyone. And that’s what’s making us successful right now.”

Seattle is coming off a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday. The expansion Kraken have improved during the last 10 games while posting 5-4-1 mark.

Although Seattle is playing out the string after an early elimination from the playoff race, it is using the remaining games to build for next season and beyond.

“I’ve been impressed by the work ethic of our team,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’ve been able to play with a lot of the changes, and some of the individuals that have stepped forward and are proving themselves and doing good things night after night. So we want to continue that, it’s a busy month.

“We got a long month in front of us, but let’s try to have some fun. Let’s play our (tails) off and win games and have some fun together.”

The Blues have a number of players clicking offensively. Thomas is riding a six-game point streak (three goals, eight assists). Pavel Buchnevich has five goals and four assists in his last six games and David Perron has a goal and five assists in his last five games.

Leading Blues scorer Jordan Kyrou returned Monday after missing three games with a non-COVID illness.

“I think as a team we’re just playing really well,” Thomas said. “Chances are coming from everywhere. Everyone’s having good looks, everyone’s chipping in offensively. I think it all comes from that.”

The Kraken played a strong game start to finish against Dallas, getting strong goaltending from Chris Driedger (29 saves) and converting scoring opportunities in transition.

“We talked about defending well and then it’s automatically you’re gonna look for that quick transition,” Hakstol said. “Our guys did a good job of pushing on possession and finding those opportunities. They don’t just happen, you got to read possession, you got to go and then somebody’s got to make the play to get it there, and we did that . “

–Field Level Media

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