St. Louis Blues

Blackhawks’ Quenneville on Hossa: ‘He’s got that touch’

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Following Friday’s 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils Marian Hossa joked that he hasn’t been this hot since his junior days with the Portland Winterhawks.

Hossa now has seven goals and an assist in four games and Chicago has picked up points in all four.

“Seems like things are going in for me so I try to put the puck at the net,” said Hossa. “I try to use my speed right now and obviously when got more confidence, more things can happen offensively.”

Prior to his current stretch, Hossa had just two goals in 15 games.

“On fire,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa. “He’s got it going. He’s got that touch.”

Hossa along with linemates Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad have combined for nine goals and eight assists in the four games

“I think right now Johnny, me and (Saad) we’re having lots of chances so we just continue to put the puck at the net,” said Hossa. “We try to do more things obviously when you have more confidence the puck is with you and you try to do a little more.

“At the same time, you try to keep things simple and put the puck at the net.”

The Blackhawks remain four points back of St. Louis for second spot in the Central Division. The Blues also have a game in hand.

Quenneville is keeping his expectations realistic with 26 games remaining.

“We always think we’d love to be in first place in our division, a lot comes with that, but at the same time, we’ve got to shoot for reality, and that’d be St. Louis,” he said. “And we’ve got work to do.”

Stars’ Roussel on suspension: ‘I have to take care of my stick’

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Antoine Roussel will miss tonight’s Dallas Stars’ game against the Florida Panthers serving the first of his two-game suspension.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety suspended Roussel for his crosscheck to the neck of Bruins’ defenseman Adam McQuaid on Tuesday night.

Roussel received a major penalty for cross checking and a game misconduct on the play.

“Of course, I have to take care of my stick,” Roussel told The Dallas Morning News. “I am just trying to protect myself. I didn’t want to fight.

“I blocked two shots before that with my right hand. My hand was numb, and I didn’t want to fight. … I tried to defend myself, and I am glad he didn’t get hurt.”

Roussel is eligible to return to the Stars’ lineup on Tuesday when Dallas visits St. Louis.

Video: Steen’s stellar stretch pass sets up Jaskin goal for Blues

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Dmitrij Jaskin has been having a nice run lately for the St. Louis Blues. It probably doesn’t hurt that the Blues employ some impressive forwards to support him, with Alexander Steen being among the standouts.

The stretch pass Steen sent to Jaskin was a work of art on Thursday:

The Blues have largely been taking it to the Tampa Bay Lightning so far tonight. We’ll see if that carries over through the remainder of the game.

Update: St. Louis won in an impressive fashion by a tune of 6-3.

Goalie nods: Ducks start Gibson for first time in three months

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Gibson back for Anaheim

John Gibson will make his first start since Oct. 30 when the Ducks take on the ‘Canes in Carolina tonight.

Gibson, who burst onto the scene last year and appeared in four playoff games, started this season with Anaheim but has spent much of the last three months in AHL Norfolk (though he was shelved for a while with injury.)

A recent injury to Frederik Andersen — he’ll miss the next three games while on IR with an upper-body injury — and Ilya Bryzgalov’s spotty play in relief paved the way for the 21-year-old Gibson to make his return; it’ll be interesting to see if he can improve on his numbers from limited work earlier in the season (Gibson is 2-2-0 on the year, with a 2.65 GAA and .915 save percentage.)

For the ‘Canes, Cam Ward gets the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Leafs at Isles: Jonathan Bernier vs. Jaroslav Halak

Oilers at Habs: Viktor Fasth vs. Dustin Tokarski

Pens at Sens: Thomas Greiss vs. Robin Lehner

Blues at Bolts: Brian Elliott for St. Louis, Ben Bishop likely for Tampa Bay.

Jets at Preds: Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.

Panthers at Wild: Roberto Luongo vs. Devan Dubyk

Rangers at Avs: Cam Talbot for New York, no word yet on a Colorado starter.

Flames at Kings: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Hitchcock gets win No. 692, tying him for fourth on all-time list

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The St. Louis Blues held on to beat the Arizona Coyotes by a final score of 2-1, and Ken Hitchcock picked up another milestone victory in his coaching career, moving right alongside Dick Irvin Sr for fourth on the all-time list.

Dmitrij Jaskin scored the winning goal, and the seventh of this season, just past the midway point of the second period. He also had five hits. His backhand off the rush somehow found room and got by Mike Smith, just trickling over the goal line.

“I didn’t see it (go in) until I went behind the net. It was a good surprise to me,” said Jaskin, as per Lou Korac of NHL.com.