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Oilers at Blues preview

Tarasenko returns for St. Louis; Edmonton looks to pick up ground in West wild-card race

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

OILERS (32-33-7) at BLUES (37-27-8)

8 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, FS-MW, NHL.TV


The Game

Vladimir Tarasenko will return for the St. Louis Blues when they begin a four-game homestand against the Edmonton Oilers at Enterprise Center on Tuesday.

Tarasenko missed five games with an upper-body injury. 

The Blues, who are two points ahead of the Dallas Stars for third place in the Central Division, were 1-2-2 without Tarasenko.

The Oilers, who complete a three-game road trip, are seven points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Goalie Jordan Binnington will start for the Blues. He's 13-3-0 with a 1.69 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and four shutouts in his past 16 starts.

The Oilers will start goalie Mikko Koskinen for the fifth straight game and 17th in the past 18.


Players to watch

Oilers center Connor McDavid has 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in a personal 12-game point streak, including 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in an NHL season-long eight-game multi-point streak.

Blues forward David Perron has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in a personal NHL career high 15-game point streak, including two points (one goal, one assist) in two games since returning from a 24-game injury absence.


They said it

"He's our guy. He's the guy we've hung our hat on. He's had a couple of really good outings, he's had a tough outing. He's had a couple of those tough outings and he's rebounded." -- Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock on goalie Mikko Koskinen

"We have some key games coming down the stretch here and if we can get healthy, it's good. It obviously helps our team dramatically being healthy and having these guys back in our lineup." -- Blues center Ryan O'Reilly


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Jujhar Khaira -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Sam Gagner

Joseph Gambardella -- Colby Cave -- Alex Chiasson

Milan Lucic -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ty Rattie

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Andrej Sekera -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Josh Currie, Alexander Petrovic, Kevin Gravel, Brad Malone, Tobias Rieder 

Injured: Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body)


Blues projected lineup

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

Pat Maroon -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Jaden Schwartz -- Oskar Sundqvist -- David Perron

Alexander Steen -- Ivan Barbashev -- Zach Sanford

Vince Dunn -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Michael Del Zotto -- Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington

Jake Allen

Scratched: Robby Fabbri, Mackenzie MacEachern

Injured: Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), Joel Edmundson (lower body), Sammy Blais (lower body)


Status report

Rieder will be a healthy scratch for the first time in 23 games and second time in 42 games. ... Blues coach Craig Berube said Edmundson has skated the past two days and is getting closer. ... Gunnarsson took part in the morning skate. He has not played since Feb. 5.


Stat pack

Draisaitl has 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in his past 17 games and 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists) in his past 24.

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