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Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

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Blues-Blue Jackets Preview

GAME: St. Louis Blues (2-12-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (5-13-0).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to have six-time All-Star Sergei Fedorov in the lineup when they meet the struggling St. Louis Blues at Nationwide Arena.

Columbus acquired Fedorov and a fifth-round draft pickin 2006 on Tuesday from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for forward Tyler Wright and rookie defenseman Francois Beauchemin.

The Blue Jackets have scored a league-low 34 goals this season and should get a boost from Fedorov, if he is healthy. The 35-year-old has recently came back from a groin injury and has just one assist in five games this season.

Fedorov scored 56 goals and won the Hart Trophy in 1993-94 as the league's most valuable player. In 15 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim, Fedorov has 431 goals and 589 assists.

"We're adding a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a Hart winner, who still has a tremendous skill level and is excited to play. He'll be a terrific addition," Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean said.

Fedorov has 25 goals and 41 assists in 58 games against the Blues.

Columbus is coming off one of its worst efforts of the season, an 8-2 loss Sunday to the Los Angeles Kings. Blue Jacket goaltenders Martin Prusek and Marc Denis combined to give up five first-period goals, including three in a row to Alexander Frolov.

"It was an awful night," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "It was a long game and it was basically over five minutes into it when it was 3-0."

St. Louis enters this contest looking to snap a franchise-record 11-game winless streak. Mike Sillinger scored the only goal in the Blues' 3-1 loss Saturday to the Nashville Predators.

"We have to find ways in those tight games to score goals. I thought we played hard tonight, but it still just wasn't enough. We gotta find ways to score more than one goal," Sillinger said.

St. Louis has been held to two goals or less in five straight games and eight of its last 11.

The Blues are also looking for their first road win. St. Louis has been outscored 29-16 in seven road games.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 15): Blues - 7 points, 5th place, 24 PB, Central Division. Blue Jackets - 10 points, 4th place, 21 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Jamal Mayers, 6 goals and 37 PIM; Petr Cajanek, 14 assists and 16 points; Blue Jackets - David Vyborny, 6 goals; Bryan Berard and Manny Malhotra, 10 assists; Berard, 13 points; Jody Shelley, 42 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 15): Blues - Power play: 14.2 percent (17 for 119), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 79.8 percent (91 for 114), tied for 25th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 9.2 percent (10 for 108), 30th. Penalty killing: 83.5 percent (107 for 128), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Patrick Lalime (2-9-3, 4.00 GAA); Curtis Sanford (0-1-0, 3.10). Blue Jackets - Denis (3-9-0, 3.47); Prusek (2-2-0, 2.81).

SEASON SERIES: Blue Jackets, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 9; Blue Jackets, 3-1. At Columbus, Ohio, Vyborny scored twice and Denis made 24 saves as the Blue Jackets ended a four-game losing streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 0-5-2 on the road; Blue Jackets - 4-5-0 at home.


Associated Press

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