Red-hot Blues host Lightning

( – The St. Louis Blues try to extend an 11-game point
streak with a sixth straight victory on Tuesday evening as they take on the
Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blues have not lost in regulation since Jan. 2 at Anaheim, posting a pair
of five-game winning streaks around an overtime setback to Detroit on Jan. 15.
St. Louis kept its latest win streak intact on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over
the Washington Capitals.

Alex Steen remained hot with a pair of goals and an assist. The forward has
nine goals and 21 points over his last 13 games.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Dmitrij Jaskin lit the lamp and
T.J. Oshie added three assists for the Blues, who played the majority of the
game without defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a large part minus forward David

Backes was ejected and given a five-minute major for boarding just over five
minutes into the second period, while Shattenkirk exited early in the game
with a lower-body injury.

Brian Elliott, though, was strong with 33 saves to help have a chance to win
six in a row for the first time since a season-high seven-game run from Oct.
25-Nov. 6.

“We worked really hard for these points,” said Oshie. “It’s great that we came
away with two here and hopefully we learned something about how to win on the

The news on Shattenkirk wasn’t good on Monday as the 26-year-old blueliner
will undergo abdominal surgery within the next 7-to-10 days. He will be listed
as week-to-week following the procedure.

Shattenkirk has 32 assists and 40 points in 49 games this season. He has
recorded 20 helpers on the power play.

St. Louis is currently second in the Central Division with 68 points, two back
of the Nashville Predators, while Tampa Bay has a one-point lead over both
Montreal and Detroit for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Lightning are set to play two in a row on the road beginning tonight after
extending their franchise-record home winning streak to 10 in a row with
Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Ben Bishop made 34 saves to help Tampa Bay to its fifth victory in six games

“Another solid game out of him,” Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said of
Bishop. “I thought we played a really good game.”

Cedric Paquette, who posted a hat trick in Thursday’s win over the Red Wings,
scored to give him five goals in three games, while Brett Connolly and
Valtteri Filppula also lit the lamp.

While the Lightning have been streaking at home, they have struggled in St.
Louis since becoming an NHL franchise. The Blues are 12-3-0 as the hosting
club in this series all-time.

St. Louis has won three of the previous four meetings overall and will likely
start Elliott, who is 3-2-1 versus the Lightning with a 1.96 goals against
average, .918 save percentage and two shutouts lifetime in the series.

Bishop, meanwhile, is 1-1-0 with a 2.53 GAA and .914 save percentage versus
the Blues. He is the likely starter tonight and will be backed up by the
recalled Andrei Vasilevskiy after veteran netminder Evgeni Nabokov was put on

Signed to a one-year contract on July 1, Nabokov is just 3-6-2 with a 3.15
GAA in 11 games for the Lightning this season.

Vasilevskiy, 20, has appeared in four games with the Lightning this season,
posting a record of 3-1-0 to go along with a 1.76 GAA and a .937 save
percentage. He was the 19th overall pick of the 2012 draft.