Season series: This is the second of three matchups this season between two teams that will wrap up their season series in St. Louis on April 18. Just last week, the Blues topped the Coyotes in Glendale, 6-3, with Chris Stewart registering a goal and three assists in the win. St. Louis went 3-1-0 against Phoenix last season.
Big story: Two of the League's stingiest defenses appeared to be springing leaks lately, but the Coyotes are coming off two impressive division wins while the Blues may have momentarily recaptured their early-season form despite a slate of injuries.
Coyotes: Phoenix is starting a week-long, four-game trip with a two-game winning streak.
The Coyotes have won just three of 10 road games this season and are just 1-3-1 in their last five games away from Arizona.
Center Antoine Vermette played a quiet yet key role in those wins with dominating play in the face-off circles, and he now leads the NHL with a 61.2 success rate.
Meanwhile, captain Shane Doan Captain has scored a goal in each of his last three games and five of his last seven.
Mike Smith is expected to make his 22nd start of the season tonight. Only seven other goalies have started more games than Smith, who is 3-4-0 vs. St. Louis in his career.
Blues: After going 2-3-0 on their recent season-long five-game road trip, the Blues hosted San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Sharks for the second time in three days. After pulling out a 4-3 overtime victory in San Jose on Saturday, the Blues wanted to be sure they wouldn't require extra time to knock off the Sharks this time around.
Stewart opened the scoring in the latter half of the opening period and David Perron and Chris Porter sandwiched a Brent Burns goal for San Jose in the second to put the Blues firmly in control. Chris Stewart sealed the 4-2 victory with an empty-net goal and Jake Allen gave his finest performance of the season, stopping 39 of 41 shots for the win.
Who's hot: Forward Rob Klinkhammer has scored a goal in each of his first two games with the Coyotes. He is just the third player in franchise history (Oleg Saprykin and Wojtek Wolski) to score a goal in each of his first two games with the team. … For the Blues, Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo have been on fire, registering nine and six points respectively in their last five games. Patrik Berglund has six points in his current five-game point streak.
Injury report: Defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) and forward Matthew Lombardi (upper body) are both unlikely to play Thursday while forwards Radim Vrbata (lower body) and David Schlemko (upper body) are on injured reserve. … With wing T.J. Oshie now questionable with an upper-body injury, the Blues are suffering with a slew of injuries to their forwards as Alex Steen (upper body), Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion), Andy McDonald (knee) and Jamie Langenbrunner (hip surgery) are all on IR.
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