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Blues look for rebound against Ducks

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues' 6-1-0 start seems like a distant memory.

So in order for the Blues (6-4-0) to break a three-game losing streak Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks (7-2-1), coach Ken Hitchcock will try and spice things up by juggling his lineup.

"The twosomes [on defense] aren't changing, but just looking at trying to add," Hitchcock said. "I think we've gone pretty close to three games without scoring 5-on-5. Our power play's been terrific all year, but if you don't score 5-on-5, you're not gonna win a lot of hockey games."

The Blues have not scored a 5-on-5 goal since Matt D'Agostini's at the 13:04 mark of the first period at the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 1 -- three games ago. They've played 166:56 since and have three power play goals in that stretch.

"As I said to the players, this is an opportunity from a team-building standpoint we just don't want to pass up," Hitchcock sad. "You can't build your team through good times. You build it through the tough times, and this is an unbelievable opportunity for us. We've got to take advantage of this.

"Over the next two or three games, this can really cement good team play because you have to. Things were a little bit easy at the start and now we've hit some rough water. Now this is a chance for the players to rebuild some chemistry and good play. We're right on the cusp of doing that if we just continue down the same path."

Here are the probable lineups for this game between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues from Scottrade Center. The Ducks, who lost 3-1 at the Dallas Stars on Friday, did not skate Saturday morning.


Emerson Etem - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Kyle Palmieri - Bobby Ryan - Teemu Selanne

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik

Matt Beleskey - Nick Bonino - Brad Staubitz

Francois Beauchemin - Sheldon Souray

Luca Sbisa - Toni Lydman

Bryan Allen - Ben Lovejoy

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller

Scratches: Jordan Hendry, Rickard Rakell, Sami Vatanen.

Injuries: Cam Fowler (upper-body).


Andy McDonald - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

David Perron - Patrik Berglund - Chris Stewart

Vladimir Sobotka - Alex Steen - Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz or Matt D'Agostini - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Wade Redden - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratches: Jamie Langenbrunner, Matt D'Agostini or Jaden Schwartz, Kris Russell.

Injuries: Jaroslav Halak (groin strain).

Note: One lineup change for the Blues as Cole slips in for Russell, who is pointless on the season through 10 games.

"It's a group of seven ... it's more a group of four on the left," Hitchcock said. "Ian Cole hasn't come out from poor play. He came out from numbers. You've got to earn it, and Russ had a tough night the last night [against Detroit Thursday]. This is a chance for Ian to step up. He's got size, he's got good ability, we'd like to see him play with Petro, so take a look at that again. The two games they played together, they played very well, so we'd like to continue down that path and take a look at it."

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