Blues want to attack net vs. Maple Leafs

ST. LOUIS -- The focus for the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs will be on generating more quality scoring chances.

The team had 33 shots on goal Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, but none resulted in a goal as they suffered their first home loss while being shut out 2-0.

Coach Mike Yeo said Friday he thought the biggest factor was the Blues' inability to get to the net often enough, which was the message he delivered at practice and during a video session.

"I think we can be more direct, whether it's off the rush, whether it's in the offensive zone," Yeo said. "You've got to be able to create offense in other ways. I felt there was parts of our game that was lacking and didn't allow us to get to our offensive game.

"When we're on top of our game, our execution, whether it's coming out of our own zone, through the neutral zone, it's crisper. Our puck support is better and we do a real good job of checking to create turnovers, and I didn't think that any of those ingredients were really there last night."

In addition to the 33 shots on goal, St. Louis had 20 shots blocked by the Flyers and 15 more which missed the net, including five from Vladimir Taraseno.

"You're going to have stuff like that happen certain nights," Yeo said. "Collectively as a group, we weren't on top of it (offensively). When we had shots, we didn't have the net-front, or when we had the net-front we didn't get the shots that were presented to us."

The Maple Leafs also are coming off a loss, falling 5-3 to the Kings in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

After starting the season winning six of its first seven games, Toronto has gone just 2-5 since, losing two of the first three games on the current four-game trip.

Coach Mike Babcock believes the Leafs' biggest problems has been poor starts and poor play on special teams.

"Those are things we can fix," Babcock told the Toronto Star. "I liked our energy (against L.A.), I liked a lot of things; we had a lot of good players. And yet we weren't able to come away with (a win)."

Toronto gave up three first-period goals to the Kings and trailed 5-0 in the second period. The challenge against the Blues will be trying to score early -- St. Louis allowed only four first-period goals this season and just two in its last 10 games.

Center Auston Matthews knows what to expect from the Blues.

"We're not going to be in these 7-5 games anymore," Matthews told the Star. "It's going to be tight. We've got to make sure we're doing the right things, and playing to our strengths.

"(St. Louis is) a big, heavy team that has some guys with some offensive skill that can make you pay. It's pretty much the same against anybody. If you turn the puck over in the neutral zone, they're coming back at you with a two-man rush."

Updated November 3, 2017

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