ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 7: David Perron #57 of the St. Louis Blues pushes Ryan O'Byrne #3 of the Colorado Avalanche out of his way at the Scottrade Center on January 7, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues beat the Avalanche 4-0. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Blues have scored points in a franchise-best seventeen straight home games, which has put them in a comfortable playoff position. Tonight's a chance for them to gain a few more points in the race for home-ice advantage.
The Blues have won back to back road games for the first time since November, with a commanding 3-1 victory in Ottawa and a 4-3 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils. The common denominator? Brian Elliott. Elliott is continuing his quest to finish with the lowest GAA and the highest save percentage in the league, and he seems to be doing a pretty good job of it. He stopped all 15 shots he faced after Jaroslav Halak was pulled Thursday night, including every shot in the shootout.
Elliott will need to be strong again tonight, seeing as how the Blues are out another offensive cog. Matt D'Agostini left Thursday's game early after getting hit, and he will miss both weekend games with concussion-like symptoms. Kris Russell is also out with the flu, so Ian Cole will be back for tonight and probably tomorrow.
Brian Elliott was in net for the Blues 4-0 victory over the Avalanche on January 7th along with Avs goaltender Jean Sebastien-Giguere, who stopped 35 shots that evening. Jiggy won't be in net tonight, as it's assumed that Semyon Varlamov, who has stepped into the backup goaltender role, will be starting. He's never lost a game against the Blues, but the ones that he's participated in have been generally close affairs.
While the Blues seem to be sitting pretty in a playoff spot for right now, the Avalanche are fighting for one of the last playoff spots in the West. With the Central Division taking four out of eight slots, there's not much room for error. The Avalanche, who are second in the Northwest Division behind the Vancouver Canucks, sit just one point out of the playoffs right now. Motivation will be high for them, as they'd love to rebound from last season's disastrous finish.