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Preview: Coyotes at Blues

St. Louis can move into third in Central Division with win; Clayton Keller to make NHL debut for Arizona

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (27-39-9) at BLUES (40-28-6)

8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-A, NHL.TV

 

Coyotes team scope

Forward Clayton Keller, 18, will make his NHL debut Monday after the Arizona Coyotes signed the No. 7 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to an entry-level contract on Sunday. Keller concluded his freshman season with Boston University when it lost to Minnesota Duluth in the West Regional Final at Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota on Saturday. Keller got back to Boston at 4 a.m. Sunday, flew to St. Louis at 6 a.m. and arrived in time for practice Sunday. He grew up in Swansea, Illinois, a 30-minute drive east of St. Louis, and will make his NHL debut against the St. Louis Blues. "It's really cool, the place I grew up watching games," Keller said. "My dad, grandpa taking me to games when I was really young. It's really special to have the first one here. I'm looking forward to it." Forward Christian Fischer has known Keller since they were teammates with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in 2014-15 and said he would pass along the things he's learned in his six NHL games. "Just keep it simple," he said. "Not too long ago I was playing the first game. There's not too much you can do. A lot of emotions, I know. Your family's going to be here. It's just another sheet of ice." Center Alexander Burmistrov, who's missed 13 straight games and 14 of the past 15 because of a concussion, will return to the lineup. The Coyotes, 1-4-1 in their past six games, finish a five-game road trip.

 

Blues team scope

The Blues can move into third place in the Central Division with a win and a loss of any kind by the Nashville Predators against the New York Islanders on Monday. The Blues have more regulation/overtime wins (ROW), 39-36, so even if the Predators get one point the Blues would have the advantage. They also can move from the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference into the first wild card with a win and a loss in regulation by the Calgary Flames against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. The Blues are nine points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card from the West. They open a home-and-home set with the Coyotes on Monday and will play in Arizona on Wednesday. "It doesn't seem like a lot of games, but there's still 16 points even though we're nine in front," defenseman Colton Parayko said. "People say we have a favorable schedule and things like that, but teams are very good hockey clubs. Even though they don't have the records to show it, they still have lots of players that can put the puck in the net and lots of players that are dangerous. We definitely can't see it as a finish line yet. We've just got to do what we can control." The Blues are 9-1-1 in their past 11 games and have allowed 16 goals in that stretch. They've won nine in a row against the Coyotes and have points in 13 straight (12-0-1).

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Radim Vrbata

Clayton Keller -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Christian Fischer

Brendan Perlini -- Jordan Martinook -- Tobias Rieder

Lawson Crouse -- Josh Jooris -- Jamie McGinn

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Connor Murphy

Alex Goligoski -- Anthony DeAngelo

Jakob Chychrun -- Luke Schenn

Mike Smith

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Zbynek Michalek, Teemu Pulkkinen, Peter Holland, Anthony Duclair

Injured: Shane Doan (lower body), Kevin Connauton (upper body), Brad Richardson (leg)

 

Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Alexander Steen -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi -- Patrik Berglund -- David Perron

Zach Sanford -- Ivan Barbashev -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Jordan Schmaltz

Injured: Paul Stastny (lower body), Robby Fabbri (knee), Jori Lehtera (upper body), Dmitrij Jaskin (upper body)

 

Status report

Doan skated Monday but will not play. Duclair, had played 11 of the past 12 games. ... The Blues will stay with the same lineup for a third straight game. Coach Mike Yeo said Jaskin, who will miss his seventh straight game, is close to returning.

 

Who's hot

Allen is 7-1-1 with 13 goals allowed in his past nine games. Tarasenko has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past 10 games. Pietrangelo has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past seven games.

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