David Backes and T.J. Oshie tied for the Blues' lead in points last season, with 54. Had David Perron been healthy all season, he might have topped both of them. Returning from a concussion in December, Perron had 21 goals and 42 points in 57 games.

But during training camp, the line of Backes, Oshie and Perron struggled to find chemistry.

There are two theories why: the Blues were limited to intrasquad scrimmage games — not exhibition games against other teams — and therefore Backes and Oshie were careful not to use their body too much to create space; the other is none of the three played competitively during the lockout.

"In the scrimmage, sometimes I might have had a chance to take a guy out," Oshie said. "I just shied off because I don't want to hurt my own team. That hit possibly leads to a turnover and possibly leads to (offensive) zone time and that leads to goals. The same thing with Backes and 'Perry,' when they're going hard on guys. It's just hard to do against your own team."

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thought they needed game action, which began Saturday night when the Blues ripped the Detroit Red Wings 6-0 in both team's season opener.