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Preview: Ducks at Blues

Anaheim seeks three-game winning streak; Jake Allen in goal for St. Louis

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

DUCKS (35-22-10) at BLUES (33-27-5)



Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks have a two-point lead on the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific Division. "We go to St. Louis and these are all tough games," coach Randy Carlyle said after a 1-0 win at the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. "We just hope we conserve our energy and we hope we can build on [Thursday's] third period and carry that into [Friday]." The Ducks have won back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 17-19. "Hopefully you peak at the right time of the year," said forward Corey Perry, who scored Thursday. "You've got to get ready, you've got to keep pushing. There's teams behind us that are pushing for a playoff spot and every point is crucial in this League right now." Anaheim didn't have a morning skate Friday. Jonathan Bernier could start after he made 43 saves against the Blackhawks.


Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues, who have won two straight games, have a one-point lead on the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with one game in hand. The Blues are four points behind the Nashville Predators for third place in the Central Division with two games in hand. "We've just got to find a way to get points," said goalie Jake Allen, who will start Friday. "We're not used to not being in the playoffs here. It definitely would be a disappointment if we didn't make it. We're all focused. We're going to make the playoffs. We've got not many games left, but we still have a good chance to get in and even move up, so it will be nice." The Blues have made the playoffs five straight seasons. "We all know where we are," captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "I'd be lying if I said we weren't looking. We know where we are in the standings. I think you kind of get that feel in the locker room before games that every game's important. It doesn't matter who we're playing, Eastern Conference, Western Conference. This is an opportunity to really put ourselves in a good spot here in the next couple weeks."


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Ondrej Kase -- Nate Thompson -- Corey Perry

Logan Shaw -- Chris Wagner -- Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Brandon Montour -- Kevin Bieksa

Jonathan Bernier

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer

Injured: John Gibson (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Simon Despres (upper body), Nick Ritchie (upper body)

Suspended: Antoine Vermette


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Alexander Steen -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Jori Lehtera -- Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nail Yakupov, Zach Sanford, Ivan Barbashev, Jordan Schmaltz

Injured: Robby Fabbri (knee)


Status report

Vermette will serve the last game of a 10-game suspension. Gibson is on the trip but will not play. ... Schwartz did not practice Thursday because of a maintenance day but will play.


Who's hot

Getzlaf has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. Rakell has five goals in his past six games. Eaves has four points (two goals, two assists) in five games since joining the Ducks in a trade with the Dallas Stars. ... Pietrangelo has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past five games. Schwartz has an assist in three of his past four games. The Blues lead the League in goals-against average (1.73) and save percentage (.951) since Mike Yeo took over as coach Feb. 1.

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