ST. LOUIS - The Blues will get Paul Stastny back in the lineup for tonight’s 7 p.m. game against the New Jersey Devils (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX 1120 AM).
Stastny missed eight games with an upper-body injury.
“The last couple weeks, it’s been healing up great. Everyday has been better and better,” Stastny said after today’s morning skate. “I haven’t had a setback since day one until now, so it feels pretty good.”
Stastny sustained the injury in the Oct. 18 game against the Arizona Coyotes after being hit near the boards on his first shift by Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal. He went to the locker room and did not return.
“I put myself in a vulnerable position,” Stastny said. “I was reaching for it trying to block the puck and he just kind of went between me and the puck and had full momentum. Sometimes things like that happen.”
With Stastny’s return, the Blues are getting a big boost to the team that has already put together a six-game win streak.
“He’s just a guy that makes any lineup better,” defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said of Stastny. “He’s going to jump right in and play the right way and not detract from that. He’s someone that’s going to create more offense, be solid defensively. With our power play, he’s going to be a great asset to distribute pucks and make the right play.
“He’s just an extremely smart player.”
ALLEN GOES AGAIN
After posting his second consecutive shutout Tuesday night in New Jersey, Hitchcock is turning to Jake Allen again tonight.
“It’s a reward for Jake,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “He’s had two shutouts in a row and hopefully he can keep up the good streak that he’s got going.”
Allen hasn’t given up a goal in 128 minutes and 3 seconds of action dating back to the third period of the Oct. 23 game vs. Vancouver. His 1.00 goals-against average and .959 save percentage rank first in the League among all goaltenders with at least four starts.
Hitchcock said Brian Elliott would start Saturday vs. Nashville.
TEAM FIRST FOR TARASENKO
Vladimir Tarasenko is the hottest scorer in the League with goals in three consecutive games (four goals, one assist). In fact, he’s scored seven of the Blues’ last 12 goals.
It’s an impressive streak, but despite his individual success, the talented Blues forward would prefer to talk about the team’s winning streak instead.
"I feel good about our wins,” Tarasenko said after Tuesday’s 1-0 win in New Jersey. “I'm just happy about our team. We're doing well right now.”
His linemate, Jori Lehtera, has no issue talking about Tarasenko’s success, though.
“If you play with a guy that has that big self confidence, it helps me of course,” Lehtera said. “I just try to get pucks to him and good things happen.”
The Blues have the longest active winning streak in the league at six games. It’s their longest streak since a seven-game win streak last season (Dec. 28 - Jan 9).
David Backes has four assists in his last five games against the Devils.
The Blues have won five of their last six games against New Jersey.