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Preview: Blue Jackets at Blues

Columbus looks to ride momentum of 10-0 victory against Canadiens on Friday; forward Nail Yakupov healthy scratch for St. Louis

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (5-3-1) at BLUES (5-4-2)

7 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-O, NHL.TV

 

Blue Jackets team scope

The Columbus Blue Jackets have won five of seven games (5-1-1) after starting the season with consecutive regulation losses. They set multiple Columbus records, including goals in a game, when they handed the the Montreal Canadiens their first regulation loss this season, 10-0 on Friday. The Blue Jackets were the first team to score 10 goals in an NHL regular-season game since the St. Louis Blues defeated the Detroit Red Wings 10-3 on March 30, 2011 and first with a shutout when scoring at least 10 goals since the Calgary Flames defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 10-0 on Jan. 2, 1996. "I'm just glad we got out of it injury-free," coach John Tortorella told the Blue Jackets website Friday. "... It happens. All it is is a tick in the win column and it's one tick in the loss column. No matter what the score is, that's all it is, is a tick. We'll take the win and go and get ready to play against a good St. Louis team." Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 30 saves Friday for his third shutout, will get a night off for the first time this season. Bobrovsky ranks fifth in the League in goals-against average (1.79) and fifth in save percentage (.947) among goaltenders who have played more than two games. Backup Curtis McElhinney will see his first action of the season. Columbus was 4-for-5 on the power play Friday to improve its League-leading percentage to 44 percent (11-for-25).

 

Blues team scope

Blues right wing Nail Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for the first time since St. Louis acquired him from the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 7. Yakupov began the season with two goals and two assists in six games but has no points in the past five. "We've got lots of choices," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've got 14 forwards and everybody's going to play this weekend, so we'll just figure it out from there. If he doesn't play [Saturday], he'll be back in there [Sunday]. It's not a big deal." The Blues have one win in the past five games (1-3-1) and are 2-4-2 since beginning the season 3-0-0. St. Louis has scored two goals or fewer in seven of the past eight games and one or fewer in six of the past eight. Over the past two games, the Blues have allowed 11 goals. "We'll be ready to go," center Paul Stastny said. "We don't worry about who we're playing. I think we have to worry about what we do as a game plan and how to execute it." Goalie Carter Hutton will get his third start of the season with St. Louis playing the first game of a back-to-back set at home; the Blues host the Colorado Avalanche Sunday.

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Scott Hartnell -- Lukas Sedlak -- Sam Gagner

Matt Calvert -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Ryan Murray -- Jack Johnson

Markus Nutivaara -- David Savard

Curtis McElhinney

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Dalton Prout, Scott Harrington, Sonny Milano

Injured: David Clarkson (back), Dillon Heatherington (wrist)

 

Blues projected lineup

David Perron -- Patrik Berglund -- Alexander Steen

Jaden Schwartz -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri -- Paul Stastny -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Carter Hutton

Jake Allen

Scratched: Nail Yakupov, Ty Rattie

Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)

 

Status report

McElhinney will make his first start of the season for the Blue Jackets. ... With Yakupov scratched, Reaves, who was a healthy scratch for the first time this season on Thursday, will re-enter the lineup. 

 

Who's hot

Wennberg, who has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in nine games, has seven assists in the past three games. Werenski, who has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in nine games, has five assists in the past three games. Foligno, whose 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in nine games are tied for the Columbus lead with Wennberg, has three goals and four assists in the past three games. ... Stastny and Pietrangelo each had a goal and assist Thursday in a 6-2 loss against the Dallas Stars. 

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