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Noon Skate: St. Louis

St. Louis and Detroit face off for the final time this season. Which is good, because the Blues have owned Detroit this year. 

UPDATE: Dan Cleary is a go for tonight's game. Brett Lebda is a healthy scratch according to Khan. Hat-tip to Robocop (yes, Robocop.)

  • In the previous five games against St. Louis, the Red Wings are 1-3-1. The only win came by way of a shootout so the Blues have taken a point in all five games and 2 points in the other 4 games.
  • Do NOT overlook the Blues. With only 10 games left in the regular season, the Red Wings have to prepare each night like it's a game 7 not just another game. With Calgary hot on their trail, every point is critical at this point. Let's hope they carry over that fire from the end of the Pittsburgh game.
  • Detroit has a 7-2-1 record over the last 10 games. Third best "last 10" record in the league behind Phoenix (9-1-0, the 1 loss to Chicago last night) and Washington (7-1-2). 
  • Red Wings sit on a two point lead tonight after Calgary won last night against Anaheim. With Colorado (and 7th place) within reach, Detroit could make a big statement with a win tonight. St. Louis is 8 points behind Detroit in the West.
  • Jimmy Howard will start in net again. This is Tiberius' 20th consecutive start in net. Howard was exceptional against Pittsburgh and had a very active and flashy glovehand, something not seen much by him this year. He's becoming an exceptional rookie goalie and 
  • St. Louis' offense is middle of the road with 2.62 goals per game (about 18th) and about 29.5 shots on goal per game (19th). They give up 2.71 goals per game (14th) and 30.4 (16th). So as you can see, they're not atrocious or exceptional at either end of the ice but are definitely capable of taking the game to the wire. 
  • The Blues top goal scorers are Andy McDonald and Alex Steen--both at 21. McDonald has 47 points to lead the team in that category.
  • As mentioned in a fanshot earlier, Patrick Eaves is out again. With Eaves out and Cleary questionable, we probably won't truly know the line-up until right up to game time. Expect Brett Lebda to dress if they're both out, but sit on the bench for the full 60:00. Don't exactly get that strategy.
  • So that Henrik Zetterberg fella must be hearing us. Hank had been under a lot of scrutiny by fans and writers alike but he turned it on against Pittsburgh and was great. Two goals and incredible defensive play all night long. That's the Z we're used to.
  • Jimmy Howard has made people forget about losing Ty Conklin in the offseason. Don't get me wrong, practically every Detroit fan loved Conks last year and there's no ill will in that statement at all. It was just a huge gamble by releasing Conklin in favor of a rookie goalie. But huge gambles have huge payoffs.
  • St. Louis Game Time is your SB Nation affiliate.