The St. Louis Blues will try to extend their 13-game home point streak Saturday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Blues are 12-0-1 during this surge at Enterprise Center. Since Nov. 26, they are 12-3-3 overall.
They have done it by leading the league with 13 come-from-behind victories this season.
“It’s something we talk about a lot because if you want to be a real good team, you’ve got be able to come back in games and come from behind and win,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I think it’s obviously really important.”
The Blues trailed the Seattle Kraken 1-0 in the third period Thursday before rallying to win 2-1 on goals by Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich. They won despite missing forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron and Brayden Schenn along with defensemen Colton Parayko and Scott Perunovich due to COVID-19 protocol.
James Neal came off the taxi squad and Nathan Walker and Calle Rosen came up from the AHL to fill in against the Kraken. Logan Brown has been out with a non-COVID illness and Buchnevich went into the protocol Friday, which led to Dakota Joshua’s return from the AHL.
“We got guys that come in and fill in and do the job,” Berube said. “That’s what it’s really about. Everybody just needs to go and do their job. And we got guys that whether it’s from the minors, or guys like a Neal — he hasn’t played much, but he comes in and they just do the job.”
The Leafs have played just five games since Dec. 14 due to pandemic postponements. They are 3-1-1 in that span, but are coming off a 2-1 loss at Arizona despite outshooting the struggling Coyotes 46-18.
“It seemed like we hit a wall there and stopped playing for a good chunk of time in that third period,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said after their second game in two nights. “No life, no energy on our bench at a time when we needed it. So that, to me, is a sign of fatigue.”
On the plus side for the Leafs, Auston Matthews set a team record by scoring a goal in nine straight road games.
“He continues to make it happen,” John Tavares said. “Teams obviously are game-planning for him, and his ability to raise to the challenge, look forward to that challenge, adapt his game and find different ways to create opportunities.
“Not surprising, hitting a franchise record like that. When it’s all said and done, he’s gonna have quite a few.”
The previous record of eight was set 100 years ago by Babe Dye, and matched in 1961 by Frank Mahovolich and in 1989 by Daniel Morois.
The Maple Leafs hope to have more firepower for this game. Forwards Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall came out of COVID-19 protocol and rejoined the team for practice Friday.
“Two big impact players,” Tavares said. “Guys that are key parts of our lineup. Mitchy is one of the best wingers in the league and plays in every situation for us, a guy we count on, and Pierre continues to mature and make an impact for us.”
Jordan Kyrou has a six-game point streak for the Blues with five goals and seven assists in that span. Teammate Torey Krug also has a six-game point streak with two goals and five assists.
–Field Level Media