NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Washington Capitals host the St. Louis Blues at the Verizon Center at 1:00 p.m. ET today. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The Washington Capitals saw Braden Holtby fall just short in a goalie duel against Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, and now they must take on the red-hot St. Louis Blues today.
Any way you slice it, the 31-13-4 St. Louis Blues are on a roll right now.
Regarding the team itself, the Blues have generated a point in 10 straight games (9-0-1), including wins in each of two contests since returning from the All-Star break. They’ve been getting great work in net from Brian Elliott while captain David Backes has generated a ridiculous 16 points during a nine-game tear.
The Blues beat the Capitals 4-1 in the two squads’ other meeting earlier this season.
While St. Louis is scorching, the Capitals are struggling a bit, at least after a hot run of their own. They’re now 1-3-2 in their last six contests.
One obvious advantage Washington has is home ice today. They’re 13-5-5 at the Verizon Center, although the Blues haven’t been pushovers away from their own friendly confines, as they have a 12-9-2 road record so far in 2014-15.
It all shapes up to be a serious challenge for the Capitals, yet there are times when overcoming such obstacles can shape breakthroughs.
Ryan Miller will take on Buffalo for the first time since last season’s trade to St. Louis when his new team, the Vancouver Canucks, host the Sabres tonight at Rogers Arena.
Miller spent the first 11 seasons of his NHL career with Buffalo, going 284-186-57 with a 2.60 goals-against average and 28 shutouts. He also captured the Vezina award in ’10, becoming the first Sabres netminder to do it since Dominik Hasek.
Now a Canuck, Miller has done well throughout the first half of the year. He’s gone 23-11-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .917 save percentage, and sits second in the league with five shutouts.
No word yet on who’ll start for Buffalo this evening.
Pens at Devils: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.
Blues at ‘Canes: Jake Allen vs. Anton Khudobin
Preds at Avs: Semyon Varlamov for Colorado, no word yet on a Nashville starter.
‘Hawks at Ducks: Corey Crawford for Chicago, Frederik Andersen likely for Anaheim.
With Berglund and Lehtera out, Blues recall AHL sniper Rattie
Ty Rattie is in line for one of the biggest opportunities of his young career.
The St. Louis prospect, who finished fourth in the AHL last year with 31 goals, has been called up to the bigs in advance of tonight’s game against Carolina.
St. Louis lost a pair of forwards to injury in last night’s win over Nashville — Jori Lehtera and Patrick Berglund — neither of whom will be available tonight. That’ll open the door for Rattie to play in just his third career NHL contest, and first this season.
The Blues’ second-round pick (32nd overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Rattie has 17 goals for AHL Chicago this season and was recently named to his first AHL All-Star Classic. With Lehtera and Berglund out (and Chris Porter on IR), St. Louis only had 11 healthy forwards on the active roster, so this marks a really good chance for the 21-year-old Rattie to get some minutes, and see if his minor-league scoring prowess can translate to the NHL.