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Blues look to keep winning as Blue Jackets inch closer

2:18 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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(KSDK Sports) -- The number of games remaining continue to dwindle, as does the Blues opportunity to add much needed points to their quest to remain among the top eight in the Western Conference.

Thursday morning, as the Blues make final preperation for tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Blues remain in the seventh spot, but Columbus, with its win last night earned two more points to give them 49, just one point behind the Blues.  

This is the third of three meetings this season between the Blues and the Coyotes.  In the most recent clash on March 15, St. Louis Blues rookie Jake Allen made 28 saves to preserve a 3-0 victory at Scottrade Center. Forward Chris Stewart had two goals and one assist in the win.

The Phoenix Coyotes' slim playoff hopes took a hit on Monday following a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. Phoenix had earned a point in eight of its previous nine games prior to the loss. With just six games remaining, the Coyotes are in 11th place in the Western Conference with 43 points and would likely need to run the table to avoid missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four years.

On Tuesday, the Blues halted a two-game losing streak and helped coach Ken Hitchcock earn career win No. 600 in the National Hockey League following a 2-1 shootout decision over the Vancouver Canucks.

Jay Bouwmeester scored his first goal with the Blues and Elliott stopped 21 shots.  Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen scored shootout goals and goalie Brian Elliott made it stand. Despite the victory, St. Louis has not scored more than two goals in any of its last six games, relying on the stellar play of Elliott and Allen to begin the month.

Goalie Brian Elliott rebounded strong after allowing two goals on 24 shots in a 2-0 loss to Chicago on Sunday with a 22-save performance in a shootout win over the Canucks two days later. The 28-year-old goalie is 6-1-0 in his last seven decisions with a 1.00 goals-against average, .963 save percentage and three shutouts.

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