March 31, 2014

The only team to keep Vladimir Tarasenko from lighting the lamp in the last two-plus weeks is the Philadelphia Flyers.

He'll try to rectify that in Monday night's rematch while leading the St. Louis Blues to a season high-tying fourth consecutive win.

Tarasenko has seven of his 21 goals in the past eight games and has scored one in a career-best five straight. He also had two assists for the second time in three contests in a 3-2 victory over Calgary on Saturday.

"Hockey is a team game. My teammates make it for me," Tarasenko said. "I think I need to score more because I have really a lot of goal chances. So you can't stop working and relaxing because it's only December."

Tarasenko didn't have a point in a 4-2 home loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 10, the only time that's happened in nine games dating to Dec. 4. The Flyers (14-12-7) tallied three straight goals in the second period with Claude Giroux concluding that run and assisting on two more scores in the game.

Philadelphia has split four subsequent contests, winning both home games. The Flyers rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period Saturday in Columbus but were denied a third consecutive overall victory in a 3-2 shootout loss.

Philadelphia will try to bounce back and head into its five-day break on a positive note with a ninth win in the last 11 home games against St. Louis. The Blues (20-10-4), who last won four in a row Oct. 13-18, visit Boston on Tuesday before getting a three-day hiatus.

"We've been playing well and we want to keep things going in the right way," forward Ryan White said. "I think it's not so much about the break. The break is good for the body and getting a couple of mental days away from the rink. At the same time, the way things have been going we almost want to keep playing. So it's a big game for us (Monday) night."

The Flyers have outscored the Blues 11-4 while earning at least one point in each of the past five overall meetings (3-0-2).

Michal Neuvirth started in net in the most recent matchup but Steve Mason has performed better against the Blues, going 3-0-1 with a 0.62 goals-against average in his last five matchups. Neuvirth is 2-1-0 with a 3.33 GAA in three lifetime meetings.

Brian Elliott, who started for St. Louis earlier this month, earned his first win in nine appearances since Oct. 18 on Saturday, making 36 saves. He is 2-4-0 with a 3.05 GAA in his last six games against Philadelphia while Jake Allen, 4-1-0 with a 1.41 GAA in his past five starts, has never faced the Flyers.

Tarasenko has one assist in three career games against Philadelphia. Scott Gomez has one goal and five assists in his last three matchups but the veteran center doesn't have a points in his last eight contests.

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