Blues, Sharks set for defensive battle?

Blues, Sharks set for defensive struggle?

Life in San Jose is already hard enough for the Blues. The last thing they want: a front-row seat as the Sharks skate off the ice with postseason berth in hand.

That’s precisely what can be accomplished tonight, though, with another victory over Ken Hitchcock’s club. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the host squad odds of -130 to hold serve at SAP Center, whereas St. Louis has a money line of +110 to reverse fortunes in California.

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The Blues have allowed three goals in each of their past three trips out West, dropping two of those affairs. Even this year’s meetings at Scottrade Center went horribly. San Jose bludgeoned Brian Elliott and company on Feb. 22, 6-3, which came just weeks after a 3-1 verdict.

This time around, Elliott’s riding a wave of momentum. The veteran netminder returned from a 10-game absence with 19 saves in Saturday’s 3-0 shutout of Vancouver. St. Louis took 50 shots on goal, too, generally making life miserable for former teammate Ryan Miller.

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The Sharks have also specialized in terrorizing opponents lately. In the midst of a five-game home winning streak, Peter DeBoer’s bunch need only edge the Note to clinch a Pacific Division playoff spot.

With Elliott back in business, not to mention the sterling Martin Jones-James Reimer tandem on the other side, don’t expect a flurry of tallies this evening. Neither organization is about to adopt a free-wheeling, wide-open style with precious few contests left in the regular season.

TUESDAY NHL FREE PICK: ST. LOUIS/SAN JOSE UNDER 5 GOALS

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