ST. LOUIS - It's been awhile, Chicago.
The St. Louis Blues will renew their long-time rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks tonight when the clubs meet for the first time in the regular season at Scottrade Center at 7 p.m. (NBCSN, NBC Sports App, KMOX).
A win in regulation will put the Blues in first place in the Central Division in the season's early going.
Here's what several Blues had to say about facing the Hawks again:
Paul Stastny: "It's always fun playing against them. Division games are always a little more intense, but Chicago seems to bring out the best in us and vice versa. After being gone for awhile (on the road), now being back at home and having the crowd with us, it will be fun."
Kyle Brodziak: "As an organization, as a city, you feel that rivalry, which adds another element to the game. Obviously as a group coming off two losses, having a chance to reset against a division rival, with some standings implications on the line, it's a big test and guys are excited for it."
Colton Parayko: "At the end of the day, it's two points on the line and that's what we're battling for. It's fun to be part of a rivalry like that. They're games you want to be part of. It makes it more intense. It's a good challenge for both teams. It's going to make it fun… It will be intense - you know how games go against Chicago - they're always fun, they're intense. They're a lot of fun to be a part of and whether you're a player, fan or coach, you're all in. I'm looking forward to it."
Mike Yeo: "You always get up for games like this. We have to because we know they'll be up for it. If you're not ready to play, you get embarrassed against a team like this. We'll have to be on top of our game. The rivalry games are always fun to play. They're fun to go out there and compete, they're intense, they're physical, and obviously there is a lot of hatred on the ice. They bring out the best in everybody… I don't think they like us, I don't think we like them."
Video: Kelly, Chase preview Blues vs. Blackhawks
Tonight's game will mark the 307th regular season meeting between the teams, yet - they never get old.
The Blues went 2-2-1 against the Blackhawks last season, which included a 1-1-1 mark at home. The Blues have points in four of their last six games against Chicago.
After tonight, the teams won't face each other again until March 18.
"You know what that means? It means will be playing them from March on," Yeo said. "We want to make (this game) up to be what it is - a rivalry game, a big game, a division game against a team we expect to be battling with all year long."
WELCOME BACK, EDDIE O!
Tonight's game is NBC Sports Network's featured Wednesday Night Rivalry game, which means Mike 'Doc' Emrick will be in the booth alongside Eddie Olczyk, who will return tonight for the first time since beginning chemotherapy to treat colon cancer.
"Doing what I love to do will help pass the time," Olczyk told Kevin Allen of USA Today. "Looking at the calendar hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month gets a little long."
According to USA Today, Olczyk won't return to a full-time schedule yet, just working when he feels able.
Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with four goals this season. He has at least one point in five of the Blues' six games this season. Since the start of the 2014-15 regular season and including the postseason, no one has scored more goals against Chicago than Vladimir Tarasenko (14).
Carl Gunnarsson will play in his 500th career NHL game tonight.
Stastny's next point will be the 600th of his NHL career, which will make him the 36th active player to reach the milestone.
Alex Pietrangelo is fourth among all NHL defensemen in points (two goals, six assists) with eight, trailing only Detroit's Mike Green, Philadelphia's Shayne Gostisbehere and New Jersey's Will Butcher.