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Preview: Blues at Canucks

Jacob Markstrom surprise starter for Vancouver against unbeaten St. Louis

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (3-0-0) at CANUCKS (2-0-0)

10 p.m. ET; SNV, FS-MW, NHL.TV

 

Blues team scope

St. Louis will have to overcome three injuries when they attempt to start a season 4-0-0 for the second time in franchise history (2013-14). Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and centers Jori Lehtera and Kyle Brodziak each left a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers on Saturday with upper body injuries and aren't expected to play in Vancouver. Lehtera was placed on injured reserve and is not with the Blues to begin a three-game road trip, and neither Gunnarsson nor Brodziak skated on Tuesday in Vancouver. "They are both moment to moment," coach Ken Hitchcock said. Ty Rattie likely will get a chance to play on the top line with Paul Stastny, who is second in the NHL with six points in three games, filling in on the right wing for Alexander Steen, who drops into Lehtera's spot as the second-line center. "He gets an opportunity to play a top-nine role and hopefully he takes advantage of it," Hitchcock said of Rattie, a 23-year-old playing his 27th NHL game after being a healthy scratch for the first three the season. Robert Bortuzzo replaces Gunnarsson and Dmitri Jaskin replaces Brodziak as the fourth line center. Bortuzzo and Jaskin each played the season opened but sat out the past two games.

 

Canucks team scope

Goalie Jacob Markstrom will get a surprise second-straight start after No.1 Ryan Miller arrived at Rogers Arena in the morning feeling "a little tight," according to coach Willie Desjardins. Miller did not practice with the team, but skated after with goalie coach Dan Cloutier. Desjardins said they would need to call in a goalie if Miller couldn't play and the nearby University of British Columbia later announced their goalie Matt Hewitt will dress as the emergency backup for the Canucks. "I don't think it's anything major," Desjardins said of Miller. "We don't want to push it right now." Markstrom, who won his first start of the season a 4-3 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday after Miller won the season opener on Saturday, is used to filling in on short notice, including a surprise start for Team Sweden at the recent World Cup of Hockey after starter Henrik Lundqvist got sick in the morning. "That's part of the job, you always have to prepare like you are playing every game day," said Markstrom, who made 27 saves in a 2-1 win over Team Russia after Lundqvist couldn't play. "Nothing changes for me. I try to prepare the same way and do the same stuff if I was backing up."

 

Blues projected lineup

Robby Fabbri -- Paul Stastny -- Ty Rattie

David Perron -- Alexander Steen -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi -- Patrik Berglund -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Dmitrij Jaskin -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Robert Bortuzzo -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: none

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (elbow), Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), Jori Lehtera (upper body), Kyle Brodziak (upper body)

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Jack Skille

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Jannik Hansen

Alexandre Burrows -- Brendan Gaunce -- Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Luca Sbisa -- Philip Larsen

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Jake Virtanen, Nikita Tryamkin, Alex Biega

Injured: Anton Rodin (knee), Tom Nilsson (undisclosed)

 

Status report

Schwartz, who returned to practice Monday for the first time since sustaining a hyperextended left elbow during practice Sept. 29, won't play Tuesday but may play on the road trip. "He's close," coach Ken Hitchcock said. …  Allen is back in goal for St. Louis after backing up Hutton, who made 33 saves on Saturday. Skille will play his first game of the season after earning a contract during a professional tryout, starting on the second line with Horvat and Baertschi. "I'll bring speed, north-south game and drive the net when I can and play smart defensive hockey," Skille said.

 

Who's hot

Stastny has two goals and six points in three games on the Blues first line. ... Tarasenko has three goals and five points in three games on the second. … Sutter, who only played 20 games in his first season with the Canucks because of injuries, has a goal and an assist in his first two games, scoring in overtime on Sunday after scoring the only goal in the shootout for a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

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