Blues versus Coyotes

Despite wins, Blues have to be concerned about lack of scoring

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It’s not often a team scores just seven goals in seven games and ends up with five victories.

But that’s exactly what the Blues have managed in their last seven contests. Two 1-0 wins. One 2-0 victory. And a couple of 2-1 shootout triumphs, including last night’s over Phoenix.

Suffice to say, goalie Brian Elliott has been their most important player. The 28-year-old who struggled so badly earlier this season was the savior once again on Thursday.

“We didn’t play our best game,” St. Louis d-man Barret Jackman said, per the Post-Dispatch. “I think we let the way that they play dictate the way we played. And it should be the other way around. We were trying to pick them apart instead of playing in straight lines.

“The two points is huge and (Elliott) stood on his head again.”

“We can’t play like that at this time of the year,” added head coach Ken Hitchcock. “Even if you do get into the playoffs, there’s too many holes in your game.

“The goalie saved us tonight.”

Offensively, St. Louis has fallen all the way to 17th in the NHL (2.54 goals per game).

One of the major reasons? The Blues — who started the season with a red-hot power play — have scored just twice with the man advantage in their last 15 games.

At the very least, St. Louis has had at least 30 shots in each of its past four outings. Opposition goalies — including Vezina Trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky, plus two others enjoying strong seasons in Chicago’s Corey Crawford and Vancouver’s Cory Schneider — have combined for a .977 save percentage over that stretch.

St. Louis hosts a desperate Dallas side tonight. The Stars, unlike the Blues, aren’t have trouble scoring. They’ve got 26 goals in their last seven games.

Related: TJ Oshie thinks he can be back by playoffs

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)