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Blackhawks at Blues preview

Chicago center Schmaltz expected back after upper-body injury; St. Louis left wing Steen recovered from broken left hand

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (4-1-1) at BLUES (4-2-0)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues each expect to have a key forward back in the lineup for their Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Scottrade Center.

Blues left wing Alexander Steen is expected to play after missing the first six games of the season with a broken left hand. He was injured during a preseason game against the Dallas Stars on Sept. 19.

Center Nick Schmaltz is slated to returns for the Blackhawks after missing four games with an upper-body injury sustained early in the first period of a 5-1 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 7.

 

Players to watch

Forward Brandon Saad leads the Blackhawks with six goals and has the game-winner in each of Chicago's four victories.

Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko has points in five of his first six games (4-2-6). He's scored 12 goals in 20 games against the Blackhawks.

 

They said it

"They've got some key guys that have been out, but their defense has been a big part of their team. They've got some big defensemen that you notice out there. I still think it's going to be a competitive game, and every time you play St. Louis, you know it's a four-point swing. At the end of the year, these are valuable points. Got a lot of respect for how their team plays and how good they can be." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on St. Louis

"Tonight is going to be an exciting game. I'm glad I'm back for this one. First game home, guys have been on the road for a while, it will be nice to have this in front of our fans." -- Blues left wing Alexander Steen

 

Blackhawks projected lineup  

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Ryan Hartman -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Artem Anisimov -- Alex DeBrincat

Lance Bouma -- Tommy Wingels -- John Hayden

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Jan Rutta

Michal Kempny -- Connor Murphy

Corey Crawford

Anton Forsberg

Scratched: Cody Franson, Jordan Oesterle, Tanner Kero

Injured: None

 

Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Sammy Blais

Magnus Paajarvi -- Ivan Barbashev -- Vladimir Sobotka

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Chris Thorburn, Oskar Sundqvist, Nate Prosser

Injured: Jay Bouwmeester (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Zach Sanford (shoulder)

 

Status report

Schmaltz's return makes Kero a healthy scratch. ... With Steen activated off injured reserve, the Blues placed forward Wade Megan on waivers. ... The Blues held an optional skate and their lineup among the bottom-six forwards is fluid. 

Stat pack

Kane (two goals, six assists), Saad (six goals, two assists) and Hartman (two goals, six assists) lead the Blackhawks with eight points. ... Schwartz (two goals, six assists) and Pietrangelo (two goals, six assists) lead the Blues with eight points. Each has a point in five of six games.

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