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Blues Face Tough Test Tonight in Vancouver

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

UPDATE (4:30 p.m.) - Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock confirms that Scott Gomez will make his Blues debut tonight in Vancouver.

VANCOUVER - The Blues have surrendered the first goal in every game they’ve played in the 2015-16 season, and that’s a trend they’ll be looking to change tonight as the club meets the Vancouver Canucks at 9 p.m. CT (FSMW, KMOX 1120).

Despite trailing 1-0 in all four games, the Blues are sporting a 3-1 record, which includes back-to-back wins on the road in Calgary and Edmonton. After tonight’s game at Rogers Arena, the Blues will travel to meet the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday and the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

“I like the fact that we’ve gotten down in games and not really (over) reacted to it,” Alexander Steen said. “We’ve just sort of stayed the course.”

Jori Lehtera, Vladimir Tarasenko, Paul Stastny and Steen scored for the Blues on Thursday night in Edmonton, helping the club to a franchise-record-setting eighth straight win against the Oilers, spoiling the final home opener ever at Rexall Place.

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game that Vancouver would have a scheduling advantage in tonight’s contest. The Blues traveled from Edmonton after the game and will be playing their third game in four nights. Meanwhile, the Canucks have been idle since a 3-0 win Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The Canucks (3-0-1) begin a five-game home stand tonight against the Blues and have picked up seven of a possible eight points to start the season.

The Blues are 2-0-0 in Canada this season and were 6-1-2 on the road against Canadian teams in 2014-15. The Blues will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak at Rogers Arena.

Jake Allen will start between the pipes, making his fifth career appearance against Vancouver. Paul Stastny has 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) in 43 games against the Canucks, while Kyle Brodziak has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 40 career games against Vancouver.

PROJECTED LINEUP

The Blues did not hold a morning skate in Vancouver today. Hitchcock confirmed that Scott Gomez will make his Blues regular season debut, but hasn't decided who will come out.

Forwards
Steen - Stastny - Tarasenko
Schwartz - Lehtera - Brouwer
Jaskin - Backes - Upshall
Ott - Brodziak - Reaves
*Gomez

Defensemen
Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo
Gunnarsson - Parayko
Edmundson - Bortuzzo

Goalie
Allen

BLUE NOTES

Tarasenko has points in all four games the Blues have played this season (3 goals, 2 assists). Stastny has points in three straight games (1 goal, 3 assists).

Last night against Edmonton, the Blues landed a season-high 31 hits, nearly half of which came from two players: David Backes (8) and Troy Brouwer (7).

Troy Brouwer is off to the best start in his NHL career, posting 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in his first four games. He shares the team-lead in points with Tarasenko and Steen.

Former Blue Adam Cracknell, who signed a one-year deal with the Canucks in the offseason, has scored in two consecutive games.

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