Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Colorado Avalanche hosting the St. Louis Blues at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Head-to-head: This is the 3rd of 5 meetings this season between these Central Division foes…
• Nov. 1: STL W 3-2 (SO) at home: Blues F Vladimir Tarasenko scored both goals in regulation before teammate F Joakim Lindstrom scored the game’s lone shootout goal.
• Dec. 13: STL W 3-2 (OT) at COL: Avalanche D Erik Johnson scored twice in regulation and G Calvin Pickard made 39 saves, but STL F T.J. Oshie scored in overtime to give the Blues a road win.
• STL and COL will play again on Dec. 29 in St. Louis – their 3rd matchup in a 17-day span.
• Overall, STL has won 6 of the last 7 games vs. COL, including 3 straight in Colorado at Pepsi Center.
• St. Louis finishing a road trip: The Blues are closing a 3-game trip tonight, and are looking for their first win (0-1-1). They have lost two straight after winning 5 in a row from Dec. 6 to Dec. 16…
• The Blues dropped a 6-4 contest in LA on Thurs. before losing 3-2 (OT) Sat. night in San Jose.
• St. Louis squandered a 3-0 lead to the Kings, and allowed the game-tying goal to the Sharks with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.
• The 9 goals given up in the past 2 games by STL are the most in any 2-game stretch this season. The last time the Blues gave up 9 goals in a 2-game span was last December, also in a pair of losses in SJ and LA.
• St. Louis has not lost 3 straight games all season.
• Colorado returns home: The Avs got 5 of a possible 6 points (2-0-1) on their recent 3-game Eastern-Conference road trip…
• Dec. 18: L 1-0 (OT) at PIT
• Dec. 20: W 5-1 at BUF
• Dec. 21: W 2-1 (SO) at DET
• COL is looking for its first 3-game win streak of the season.
• Overall, COL has points in 5 straight games (3-0-2).
• STL enters with the top power play in the NHL (25.4%).
• The Blues are 10-for-22 (45.5%) with the man-advantage over the last 7 games, including 4 games with 2+ power-play goals. The Blues are 5-1-1 in that stretch.
• COL will provide a stout penalty kill unit on the other side, ranking 7th in the NHL (85.8%).
• St. Louis (45 points) trails Central Division-leading Chicago by 3 points with a game in hand. Nashville (46 points) is also just ahead of the Blues in the division race.
• Colorado is the lone Central team without an above-.500 record. The Avs sit last in the division and 12th in the West.
• Through 33 games last season, the Avs were 22-10-1 (45 points) and sat 3rd in the Central Division.
This season, the Avs are well short of that mark with 32 points.
BLUES TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• F Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team in goals (20; T-2nd in NHL), points (37; T-6th in NHL), and plus/minus rating (+18; 3rd in NHL).
• Tarasenko needs one goal to tie his career high of 21, which he set last season in 64 GP.
• Tarasenko saw his 7-game point streak (6G-5A) snapped against SJ on Saturday.
• The Blues are 34-5-0 all-time in the regular season when Tarasenko scores a goal.
• Like Tarasenko, D Kevin Shattenkirk had a point streak snapped against SJ (2G-4A in 4-game streak).
• Shattenkirk is 2nd on the Blues in scoring (28 points), and that number is good for second among NHL d-men (Mark Giordano, CGY – 34 points).
• Shattenkirk’s 18 power play points (4G-14A) lead all NHL skaters.
• Colorado drafted Shattenkirk 14th overall in 2007, and in 2011 he was traded in a multi-player deal to
STL. The Blues gave up 2006 #1 overall pick D Erik Johnson in the deal.
• D Alex Pietrangelo, part of Canada’s gold-medal winning team in Sochi, leads STL in TOI/G (25:44 TOI/G).
• Pietrangelo has an active 7-game point streak (1G-6A). He had a career-high 9-gm point streak in Jan. 2012.
• F Jori Lehtera, who turns 27 today, has just 1 goal in his past 16 games. He is 4th on STL with 25 points.
• G Jake Allen and G Martin Brodeur have been sharing time since G Brian Elliott’s injury on Nov. 25.
• Brodeur is 2-2-0 in his 4 games with the Blues, and was in net for the 6-4 loss in LA on Thursday. Brodeur allowed 6 goals in the game, and has posted a 3.59 GAA and .882 SV% this season.
• Brodeur has never faced off against Colorado Head Coach Patrick Roy since Roy became a coach.
Brodeur did not play in either of the two Devils-Avalanche games last season.
• Brodeur (690 wins) and Roy (551 wins) are the two winningest goaltenders in NHL history.
• Allen is 3-0-1 in his past 4 starts, and has posted an overall record of 11-3-2 this season. Allen started in the overtime loss on Saturday vs. San Jose, and has a 2.49 GAA and .907 SV% this season.
AVALANCHE TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• 35-year-old F Alex Tanguay leads COL in goals (11) and points (22) this season.
• Tanguay has only scored 20 goals in a season once since 2007-08 (22 in 2010-11), and he was limited to just 16 games last season due to a variety of injuries.
• Tanguay was a 1st round pick by COL in 1998, and while he has played for 3 other teams (CGY, MTL, TB), he is in his 8th season overall with the Avs.
• Tanguay has 43 points (10G-33A) in 44 career games vs. STL.
• F Jarome Iginla, signed to a 3-yr/$16M contract this offseason from Boston, ranks T-2nd on the team in points (21).
• Not including the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, the 37-year-old Iginla has totaled 30+ goals and 60+ points in each of the last 12 seasons.
• However, both his 7 goals and 21 points in 33 games are falling short of that pace so far this season.
• Iginla has 71 points (28G-43A) in 66 career games vs. STL (all but 1 point came w/ CGY).
• The Avs have had a top-3 overall pick 3 times in the past 6 seasons. Those 3 players – F Matt Duchene (3rd overall in 2009), captain F Gabriel Landeskog (2nd overall in 2011), and F Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall in 2013) are all tied with 20 points this season.
• Duchene has 10G-10A this season, but has been held without a point in 4 straight games.
• The last time he didn’t register a point in five straight games was a 7-game drought at the end of the 2011-12 season.
• MacKinnon, last season’s Calder Trophy winner (top rookie) with 63 points, has just 2 points in his last 9 games.
• D Tyson Barrie is T-2nd on the team in points (21), but has just 1 point in his last 7 games.
• D Erik Johnson has 8G-10A this season. He has goals in 2 straight games, and 4 goals in his last 4 games overall.
• Competition in the Avs net?
• Rookie G Calvin Pickard has started the past 6 games for Colorado, allowing just 10 goals in those games.
vIn that stretch, Pickard is 3-1-2 with a 1.61 GAA and .955 SV%.
• Pickard has allowed just 1 goal in each of his last 3 games.
• Pickard’s .939 SV% overall ranks 2nd in the NHL (Michael Hutchinson, WPG – .940 SV%).
• Pickard is seeing so much action because of G Semyon Varlamov’s groin injury, sustained Dec. 8 in practice.
• Varlamov has missed the last 6 games, but is expected to return and start tonight vs. STL.
• This season, the 2013-14 Vezina Trophy nominee has a 4-6-5 record with a 3.22 GAA and .909 SV%.
• Pickard (6 W in 13 GP) has played 2 fewer games than Varlamov (4 W in 15 GP) this season, but has 2 more wins.