Scorching Blues hope to keep streaks alive vs. Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to regain their scoring touch Tuesday night when they visit the St. Louis Blues, who are on a 10-game winning streak that includes three straight shutouts.
The Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-0 Sunday in St. Paul, Minn., to equal the club record of 10 consecutive wins accomplished in the 2001-02 season.
The Maple Leafs, after scoring a total of 11 goals in victories over the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights, were shut out 2-0 Saturday by the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
The Blues (31-22-5, 67 points) are 24-13-2 under interim coach Craig Berube, who replaced Mike Yeo on Nov. 20.
St. Louis has outscored its opponents 40-14 during the win streak.
"It's all good stuff," Berube said after Sunday's win. "Players are doing a great job. They're going out and executing and playing hard, doing the right things."
"I've never really been on a streak like this too often in any league where you can pull this many together," Blues defenseman Vince Dunn said. "It's pretty unbelievable. Especially with three shutouts. It's an incredible feeling for us in the room."
The Blues have not allowed a goal in 187 minutes and 16 seconds. Rookie Jordan Binnington has two of the shutouts on the streak, and Jake Allen has the other.
It's the Blues' longest shutout streak since the 2015-16 season, when they had four straight from March 19-26.
"The defense is doing a great job," Berube said. "The big guys are getting in the way, and good sticks. The forwards are coming back and doing a good job. And the goalies are stopping pucks. It's everybody on the ice. It's not just one or two players. It's everybody buying in to do a good job."
The game Sunday made it eight consecutive wins for Binnington, a franchise record for a rookie goaltender. Brent Johnson won seven straight on two different occasions during the 2000-01 season.
"Good timing," Binnington said. "I think the team has really caught their stride, and we're playing well every game. We're having great starts, and that kind of sets the tone for the rest of the game. Hopefully we can continue our success here."
Binnington improved to 12-1-1 overall as a starter with a 1.43 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage in those games. He is the seventh goalie in NHL history with four shutouts in his first 14 starts.
The worst the Maple Leafs can do on their four-game trip is split.
"We've played well, we've played well on this road trip, I've liked the way we've played," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We've played with good energy, good detail, good work ethic. We just weren't as good (Saturday)."
"I think we're a confident team," Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri said. "We understand that some nights are going to be off and not everyone is going to be perfect, especially on the road. We're a pretty resilient group, and we're able to shrug games like this off."
After taking Sunday off, the Maple Leafs returned to practice Monday. Andreas Johnsson, who missed the Coyotes game Saturday with a leg injury, participated in the practice.
The Blues defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1 in Toronto on Oct. 20.
St. Louis is 14-13-2 at home, and Toronto is 19-8-2 on the road.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 19, 2019