San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues
Tip-off: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri
In 2012 Brian Elliott assisted the St. Louis Blues eliminate the San Jose Sharks from the NHL postseason, but now YouWager experts consider his team may have recently found a new solution in goal.
Rookie Jake Allen has been successful in winning his first three hockey starts and could make his first at home tonight when St. Louis tries to hand San Jose an eighth straight loss.
These teams will meet for the first time since the Blues (9-5-1) ousted the Sharks in five games in the first round. Elliott replaced an injured Jaroslav Halak in a 3-0 victory in Game 2 before posting a 1.67 goals-against average in winning his three starts over the rest of the series.
The 27 year-old Elliott now owns one of the worst GAAs in the NHL at 3.57 while Halak hasn’t played since Feb. 1 due to a groin strain.
Allen has been called up twice from Peoria of the AHL, most recently last Tuesday. The 22 year-old posted a 2.58 GAA in winning all three games on St. Louis’ road trip, topped off by a 28-save performance Sunday in a 4-3 shootout victory against the Vancouver Canucks.
St. Louis is starting a set of games on back-to-back nights, with a visit to face the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. According to Hitchcock he will likely start Allen in one contest and Halak in the other.
Elliott had a weak .791 save percentage as the starter during a winless four-game homestand before giving way to Allen last week. The Blues will now try to avoid their first five-game home skid since Dec. 18, 2009-Jan. 2, 2010.
In contrast, the Sharks (7-4-3) are enduring their longest losing streak since an 0-7-3 stretch Nov. 5-30, 2005. San Jose, who fell 4-1 versus the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, won all seven games in January for the best start in franchise history before losing every contest in February.
According to the NHL live betting lines, St. Louis went 6 for 18 on the power play in the playoffs versus San Jose and currently lead the league at 34.6 percent.