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Hutton to start tonight vs. San Jose

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

SAN JOSE - Carter Hutton will start in goal for the Blues tonight when they visit the SAP Center in San Jose for the first time since their Western Conference Final matchup with the Sharks last season (9:30 p.m. CT, FSMW, KMOX).

Hutton will start after coming into Thurday's game against Los Angeles in relief of starter Jake Allen, who has struggled lately between the pipes.

Hutton said stepping in for Allen is all about providing the support necessary to get him back on track.

"It's a lonely position when times are like this," Hutton said. "I think the biggest thing (Jake) has got to realize is you don't lose talent overnight. He's still an amazingly talented goalie and he's had a lot of success in this League. I think your mind can control a lot of it, so just trying to block out the negative stuff and just play. Try to get back to when you were a kid and it was just fun. I just try to be there to make him realize that he's got all the tools, he's just got to go out there and have fun."

"This is a reset for Jake," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. "(Goalie Coach) Jimmy (Corsi) worked hard with him (Friday). We'll work hard again (Saturday) and the next couple of days and see where we're at here. (Allen) is like our team, there's some good stuff and some stuff that needs to get better. He knows what he has to work on, we know what he has to work on, so we're just going to give him a chance to reset the dial and then get back up and running again."

Video: Hutton to start against Sharks

Hutton has appeared in each of the last three games for the Blues, starting Jan. 7 vs. Dallas and appearing in relief on Jan. 10 vs. Boston and Jan. 12 against Los Angeles.

"For us, (it's about) just getting back to our game, trying to find that consistency to play a full 60 minutes," Hutton said. "It's not going to be easy. We're going to have to work through it, but we've got a tight group of guys and that's our focus here."

FACING THE SHARKS

The Blues will meet one of the Western Conference's best teams tonight in the Sharks, who are second in the Pacific Division with 52 points (25-15-2). The Blues have historically played the Sharks very well, winning four of their last six regular season games against San Jose and earning points in six of their last seven games at SAP Center.

"We have great games against San Jose here," Hitchcock said. "They're a well-constructed team and both teams matchup well against each other. They're great games. They're hard-fought, they're well-played most times. They're fun to be involved in. This is a great building, a great rivalry and I think both teams look forward to it."

"If we put our best game out there, we'll have success against anybody and we know that," added Blues forward David Perron. "I think the focus is on us to prove that effort and not so much the other team. We know they're an extremely good team, but it's about us tonight."

Video: Blues hope to get on winning track vs. Sharks

BLUE NOTES

The Blues are 1-0-0 against the Sharks this season, taking a 3-2 win at Scottrade Center on Nov. 17. Jaden Schwartz had two goals in that game, which marked his fourth career multi-point game against the Sharks.

Twenty-five of the Blues' final 41 regular season games will be played on the road.

The Blues have given up the first goal in eight of the last nine games, and many have been within the first five minutes of the game. Hutton says the Blues need to treat the beginning of the game like an overtime tonight. "We want to be sharp early. Sometimes we're giving up too many good chances right out of the gate, and then after that we settle in."

Alexander Steen has six points (one goal, five assists) over his last five games. The Blues are 12-4-2 when Steen records a point this season.

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