In rare downturn, Golden Knights visit St. Louis By Reuters

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© Reuters. NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche

The Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues will seek answers Monday when the West Division playoff contenders meet for the first of two contests in St. Louis. While the Golden Knights are 0-2-1 in their last three games, the Blues’ woes run much deeper, going 0-5-1 since March 22 as they fell from playoff position. . The Arizona Coyotes now rank fourth and last in the playoffs in the West, one point ahead of the Blues, while the Golden Knights are second, four points behind the red-hot Colorado Avalanche. The Blues are coming off back-to-back losses at Colorado, which is much more understandable than previous back-to-back losses to the last few Anaheim Ducks, including one in overtime. However, there is reason for optimism after the Blues gave Avalanche a tough battle on Saturday before Cale Makar of Colorado scored with 41 seconds left to cap a 2-1 decision. “It‘s hard to swallow for sure not to get a point out of that,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Pretty good fight between us.” The tight checking game had a playoff feel to it and is an energy the Blues will try to replicate on Monday. Freeing himself from the offense will be the game plan. Satuday, Ryan O’Reilly (NASDAQ 🙂 scored the Blues’ only goal late in the opening period. “We have to find a way to put more records on the net,” Berube said. “When you keep playing the way you do, you’re doing a lot of good things, (and) things will change. We have to stay mentally strong and we have to find a way to put more records on the net.” The Blues have scored just seven total goals in their last six games and have scored more than two goals just once in their last 10 games. The Golden Knights are also in a bit of an offensive state with five total goals in their last three games. Vegas was second in the West Division and eleventh in the NHL, before playing Sunday, with 3.14 goals scored per game. The Golden Knights enter Monday after they were swept in a two-game home set against the Minnesota Wild. On Saturday, they lost 2-1 when they gave up a pair of goals over a 55-second stretch at the start of the third period. It is the first time the Golden Knights have lost three straight regular season games to coach Peter DeBoer. “We played pretty defensively (and) made a lot of mistakes,” Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said. “We’ve had our looks, we’ve had our chances. (We’re) up 1-0 in the third and lost the game. We were there. We just have to find more ways to score goals.” Vegas has won the last three meetings against St. Louis, including a convincing 5-1 win at home on March 22, and has earned a point in all four meetings this season (3-0-1). Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves has missed three games with a lower body injury, while defender Zach Whitecloud has missed two with an upper body ailment. After missing 18 games due to an ankle injury, St. Louis center Ivan Barbashev played 25 minutes in both games at Colorado. – Field level media

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