Carolina Hurricanes vs. St. Louis Blues Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Scottrade Center will be hosting an East-West matchup as the Carolina Hurricanes pay a visit to the St. Louis Blues. It’s the final time that these two clubs will meet in the regular season. Fox Sports Midwest will broadcast the matchup, which gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 30.

Carolina Hurricanes at St. Louis Blues Odds

The Blues are 23-17 straight up (SU) and have netted 2.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. That win percentage, ranked second in the Central Division so far in the early season, hasn’t moved much from what the team produced during last years regular season (46-36). 24 of the teams 40 matches have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and none have pushed. The team is 12-8 SU at home this year.

St. Louis has converted on just 15.7 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that puts the team in the bottom-5 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, STL has been penalized just 3.6 times per game overall this season, and 4.4 per game over its past five contests. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays for 9.0 minutes per contest over its last five home games.

Averaging 25.7 saves per game with a .913 save percentage, Jake Allen (18-15-2) has been the top option in goal for the Blues this season. Allen did just play last night, however, so the team could opt to rest him and instead turn to Carter Hutton (6-5-5 record, .949 save percentage, 1.64 goals against average).

Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko will each lead the way for the Blues. Schenn (40 points) has tallied 17 goals and 23 assists and has recorded multiple points in 10 different games this year. Tarasenko has 16 goals and 21 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 22 games.

Carolina is 18-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 37 regular season matches, 17 of its games have gone over the total, while an additional 17 have gone under and just two have pushed. Carolina’s 8-12 SU as the visiting team this season.

Carolina has converted on just 15.7 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s ranked 27th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 25th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.3 percent of all penalties.

Carolina’s players have been penalized only 2.8 times per game in total this season, 2.8 per game over their past five games total, and 3.2 per game over their last five on the road. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 5.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Scott Darling (.896 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for Carolina. Darling is averaging 24.5 saves per game and owns an 8-16-6 record.

For the visiting Hurricanes, the offense will be facilitated through Teuvo Teravainen (nine goals, 20 assists) and Sebastian Aho (11 goals, 17 assists).

Carolina Hurricanes vs. St. Louis Blues Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone under in each of St. Louis last five outings.
  • Two clubs that fire the puck on goal a lot, Carolina has taken the leagues third-most shots on goal (34.7) while St. Louis’s attempted the eighth-most (33.4).
  • Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be even more critical than usual in tonight’s matchup. The Hurricanes are 11-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 15-16 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Blues are 11-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 15-11 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Carolina (3-3 in shootouts) has more shootout experience coming into this one. St. Louis, on the other hand,is undefeated in two shootouts this year.
  • St. Louis has averaged 9.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.8 takeaways per game (ranked 14th).
  • Carolina has allowed 3.0 goals per game overall this year, but has given up only 1.3 per contest in their last four games (the teams a perfect 4-0 SU over that span),
  • Carolina has averaged 6.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 10.6 takeaways per game (ranked third).