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Blues are Set for Exhibition in KC

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - The Blues will make their second preseason appearance at Sprint Center in Kansas City tonight, where they'll host the Dallas Stars at 7 p.m.

It’s the fourth time since 2003 that the Blues have played an exhibition game in Kansas City (the previous two were played at Kemper Arena).

The last time at Sprint Center, the Blues fell 2-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in a preseason game on Sept. 22, 2008. T.J. Oshie made his first appearance as a Blue, as did goalie Chris Mason, and newly-signed free agent Paul Kariya scored his first goal in a Blues uniform.

Tonight’s roster, which includes Oshie, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund, Steve Ott, Jay Bouwmeester and Kevin Shattenkirk, is excited to play in what’s expected to be a big crowd in Kansas City. Sprint Center seats over 17,000 for hockey.

“It seemed like we had a pretty good crowd last time. I’m actually really excited to be in today so I can get in the swing of things,” Oshie said. “I’m excited to get into it and we’ve got some pretty good lines tonight, so it should be fun.

“It’s going to be fun to see the energy they bring,” Oshie said of the crowd in Kansas City. “It’s great to grow the game. Any chance that we can do that, it’s always for the best.”

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock is no stranger to Kansas City. He coached against the IHL’s Kansas City Blades in a best-of-7 conference finals and remembers crowds of over 15,000 fans every night at Kemper Arena.

Tonight is his first game behind the bench at Sprint Center.

“I think when you play in these neutral site buildings that you just see how global hockey is,” Hitchcock said. “I’m sure there will be a good size crowd there tonight, they’re excited to see hockey. I know our players are really excited to go and play, but I think it’s also like anything else: you find out there’s hockey fans everywhere. I think that’s what surprising to the players. They go there, and all of a sudden there’s hundreds and thousands of jerseys in the stands.

“I think you get an understanding of how global the game is.”

ALLEN STARTS

Jake Allen will start in goal today, making his second appearance of the preseason. He gave up three goals against the Blue Jackets in the preseason opener on Sept. 21.

“It’s going to be fun, especially for me getting back in another game,” Allen said. “(Dallas) has a good lineup coming in tonight, and they got the best of us last time, so hopefully we can return the favor.

“You look forward to a better performance tonight and to keep building, keep getting better each game until Oct. 9 hits.”

BLUE NOTES

No local TV or radio will be available for tonight’s game. Blues fans can follow the game with live updates through the team’s Twitter account (@StLouisBlues). Game photos and post game interviews will be available on stlouisblues.com after the final buzzer.

A select number of tickets for the game tonight are available through Sprint Center’s website. Click here to see available ticket options if you’re considering making the road trip west.

A number of fans have pointed out that the Blues mobile app will not open on select iOS devices. The issue is compatibility with the new iOS8 update. A compatible version of the app has been submitted to the App Store and should be available in the coming days.

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