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game preview

Avalanche at Blues preview

Colorado tries to extend lead for second wild card; St. Louis looks to move up in Central

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

AVALANCHE (36-29-13) at BLUES (42-28-8)

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

 

The Game

The Colorado Avalanche will try to increase their lead for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference when they play the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Monday.

Colorado holds a one-point lead on the Arizona Coyotes with one game in hand. 

The Avalanche, 6-0-1 in their past seven games, are four points behind the Dallas Stars, who hold the first wild card.

The Blues are third in the Central Division but are two points behind the Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators, who are tied for first place. Winnipeg plays the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

St. Louis, 6-1-1 in its past eight games, is 3-0-0 against Colorado this season, with two of those wins in overtime, and can sweep a season series from the Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques for the fifth time in Blues history and first since 1991-92.

 

Players to watch

Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer is 7-1-1 with a 1.43 goals-against average, a .958 save percentage and two shutouts his past nine starts.

Blues forward David Perron has 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in his past 21 games.

 

They said it

"This is such a big game for us, it's a playoff game. We're gearing up like it's a playoff game, and I think from talking to those guys, they're pushing to try and win the division, so it should be a good one tonight." -- Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie

"We're two points back. We want to win every game obviously, so we're going to try and do that. Hopefully we can climb in the standings as much as we can." -- Blues center Tyler Bozak

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Alexander Kerfoot -- Nathan MacKinnon -- J.T. Compher

Gabriel Landeskog -- Carl Soderberg -- Colin Wilson

Derick Brassard -- Tyson Jost -- Matt Calvert

Matt Nieto -- Sven Andrighetto -- Gabriel Bourque

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Patrik Nemeth

Philipp Grubauer

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Andrew Agozzino, Ryan Graves

Injured: Mikko Rantanen (upper body), Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder)

 

Blues projected lineup

Brayden Schenn -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz -- Oskar Sundqvist -- David Perron

Pat Maroon -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Zach Sanford -- Ivan Barbashev -- Alexander Steen

Vince Dunn -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington 

Jake Allen

Scratched: Robby Fabbri, Michael Del Zotto, Mackenzie MacEachern

Injured: Joel Edmundson (lower body), Sammy Blais (lower body)

 

Status report

Rantanen will miss his fifth straight game. ... Edmundson and Blais skated but are not ready to return.

 

Stat pack

Barrie has nine points (five goals, four assists) in the past eight games. ... Binnington is 17-4-0 with a 1.81 GAA, a .930 save percentage and four shutouts his past 21 starts.

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