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Flames at Blues preview

St. Louis aims to avoid worst three-game start since 2006-07; Smith in goal for Calgary

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

FLAMES (2-1-0) at BLUES (0-1-1)

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

 

The Game

The St. Louis Blues hope to avoid their longest losing streak to start a season since 2006-07 (0-2-1) when they host the Calgary Flames at Enterprise Center on Thursday.

Defenseman Joel Edmundson returns after he missed the first two games with a groin injury. The Blues allowed 10 goals in losses to the Winnipeg Jets (5-1) and Chicago Blackhawks (5-4 in overtime).

The Flames who have won two straight games outscoring opponents 10-4 will play the second of a three-game road trip. Goalie Mike Smith will start after making 43 saves in a 3-0 victory at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

 

Players to watch

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has seven points (one goal, six assists) in three games and 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 12 games against the Blues.

Blues center Ryan O'Reilly has four assists in two games and 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 30 games against the Flames.

 

They said it

"We had time too. It wasn't a back-to-back situation and he played real well. Give him an opportunity to build off that." -- Flames coach Bill Peters on starting goalie Mike Smith

"I'm happy to have him back. Huge part of not only our defensive group but our identity, being a team that's hard to play against." -- Blues coach Mike Yeo on defenseman Joel Edmundson

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Austin Czarnik

Sam Bennett -- Dillon Dube -- James Neal

Michael Frolik -- Derek Ryan -- Anthony Peluso

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Michael Stone

Juuso Valimaki -- Rasmus Andersson

Mike Smith

David Rittich

Scratched: Mark Jankowski, Garnet Hathaway, Dalton Prout

Injured: Travis Hamonic (facial fracture)

 

Blues projected lineup

Pat Maroon -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Tyler Bozak -- Jordan Kyrou

Ivan Barbashev -- Robert Thomas -- Sammy Blais

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Jakub Jerabek -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Chris Thorburn, Jordan Schmaltz, Vince Dunn

Injured: Robby Fabbri (groin), Carl Gunnarsson (knee, hip), Nikita Soshnikov (concussion), Oskar Sundqvist (concussion)

 

Status report

Dube, who has a lower-body injury, skated Thursday. Peters said he's a game-time decision. If he can't play, Jankowski will move into the lineup. ... Jerabek will make his Blues debut, in place of Dunn. ... Fabbri, Soshnikov, Gunnarsson and Sundqvist each took part in the morning skate but will not play.

 

Stat pack

Tkachuk (one goal, five assists) and Monahan (four goals, one assist) each has a three-game point streak. ... Gaudreau needs two goals for 100 in the NHL. ... Bouwmeester needs two points for 400 in the NHL.

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