WASHINGTON, D.C. - After having what Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock called a "soft start" in Tuesday's 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins, he made a few line changes on the fly that seemed to spark the club in the second period.
"We were going nowhere with that group the way they were playing," Hitchcock said. "We needed to change some chemistry."
Changes included moving Vladimir Tarasenko up to a line with Jaden Schwartz and Paul Stastny - a pair Hitchcock said has been outstanding in their last two games. Nail Yakupov found a spot on the right side with Robby Fabbri and Jori Lehtera, while David Perron, Patrik Berglund and Dmitrij Jaskin made up the third line.
With two games in as many nights and a long night of travel, the Blues opted to skip the morning skate at the Verizon Center ahead of tonight's 6 p.m. CT game against the Washington Capitals (FSMW, KMOX).
Considering the club played what Hitchcock said was a "marked improvement" from how they had been playing on the road, we'd expect the lineup to look something like this tonight:
Jaden Schwartz - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko
Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Nail Yakupov
David Perron - Patrik Berglund - Dmitrij Jaskin
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Robert Bortuzzo - Colton Parayko