(SportsNetwork.com) - After a slow start replacing injured goaltender Cam
Ward, Justin Peters is coming off a near-perfect homestand that included wins
over two of the better teams in the NHL.
Things don't slow down for Peters or the Carolina Hurricanes as they go up
against the hosting St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Peters lost his first five decisions of the season as Ward went down with a
lower-body injury back on Oct. 24. However, he has since settled in and went
4-0-1 on Carolina's longest homestand of the season, posting a 1.16 goals
against average while stopping 138 of 144 shots.
The Hurricanes saw all five games of their five-game residency decided by a
single goal and that includes back-to-back wins over Colorado and Anaheim. The
'Canes got past the Ducks 3-2 last night in a shootout.
Chris Terry scored in the final round of the tiebreaker to secure the win for
Carolina, while Drayson Bowman and Eric Staal scored in regulation. Peters
ended with 28 saves.
"I'm just really proud of the effort of the guys. We've had a couple of
injuries and guys have jumped in different spots, starting with Peters in net.
He's had a great week, great homestand here. The nice thing is it's been a
complete effort," said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller.
Peters has never before faced the Blues and he and the Hurricanes defense will
need to slow down St. Louis' top line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and
T.J. Oshie, who combined for nine points in Thursday's 7-3 rout of the
Steen scored his NHL-leading 15th and 16th goals of the season, Backes had a
goal and two helpers, while Oshie posted a career-high four assists.
Derek Roy also had a goal and two assists and Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves as
the Blues improved to 4-0-1 in their past five games and 7-1-1 in the last
nine. They went 3-for-4 on the power play versus the Avs.
"We really dialed up our checking," said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. "Our
checking caused them to take penalties, checking created turnovers. When we
dialed up our checking, (it) really had an impact in the game."
Steen's two-goal night pushed his point streak to 12 games, the longest by a
Blues player since Keith Tkachuk's 12-game run in 2002-03. Steen has 11 goals
and four assists over his streak.
St. Louis will hit the road on Sunday to visit the Washington Capitals, so
both Halak and Brian Elliott are set to see action over the next two games.
Elliott is expected to start this contest and is 5-4-0 with a 2.50 GAA in 10
games (8 starts).
Though the Hurricanes have won six of the previous nine meetings overall, the
Blues are 13-3-1 with a tie in the previous 18 encounters in St. Louis.
The Sports Network