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Preview: Wild at Blues

St. Louis begins five-game homestand against division-rival Minnesota

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

WILD (11-7-2) at BLUES (11-7-3)

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


Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild, who have points in three straight (2-0-1), begin a five-game trip in search of their third win in a row. The Wild are coming off a 6-2 home victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday; they've scored 11 goals the past three games. "Shoot, shoot, shoot," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We're not like the '72 Russians that need 18 shots to score four goals. You've got to shoot pucks and go to the net in this game. Seventy-five percent of all goals are scored within five feet from within the blue paint. That situation being what it is, shoot the puck and go to the net." Goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made 34 saves on Friday, was not on the ice for an optional skate Saturday but is projected to start. Dubnyk, who leads the NHL with four shutouts, is tied for second in goals-against average at 1.58 and is second in save percentage at .948, has allowed 15 goals his past 12 starts with a 7-5-0 record.


Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues will be without forward Alexander Steen (upper body) for a fifth straight game when they open a five-game homestand. Steen has taken part in the past two skates, including on Saturday morning. "I don't know where Steen's at," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I can't tell you there. He's obviously a practice player until he's fit enough to play." Steen was injured on a check in the offensive zone corner boards Nov. 15 against the Buffalo Sabres. The Blues are 8-1-2 at home and have points in eight straight (6-0-2). "All the little things of playing at home help," defenseman Colton Parayko said. "Sleep in your bed, get the crowd behind you. It's where you play half your games and you want to make a mark." Goalie Jake Allen, who is 4-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .953 save percentage the past four starts, will start.


Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville

Tyler Graovac -- Zack Mitchell -- Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Marco Scandella -- Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: None

Injured: Zac Dalpe (knee), Christian Folin (MCL sprain)


Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Robby Fabbri -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Patrik Berglund -- Ty Rattie

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Robert Bortuzzo -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nail Yakupov

Injured: Alexander Steen (upper body), Joel Edmundson (upper body)


Status report

Prosser will play for the second time in 10 games, taking the place of Folin, who sustained a sprained MCL Friday and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. Prosser will play with Scandella and Dumba will move up to play with Brodin. ... The Blues flipped their second- and third-line left side defensemen. Bortuzzo will move up to play with Shattenkirk and Gunnarsson will slide down and play with Parayko. ... Rattie will play in place of Yakupov. ... Edmundson, injured on Nov. 6, is close to returning after a second straight practice without any restrictions. "Edmundson had a good day today," Hitchcock said. "This is the day we were looking for with [Edmundson] and hopefully he'll be able to take that final step and get ready to play next week."


Who's hot

Tarasenko has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in nine of his past 10 games. ... Perron has a six-game point streak (two goals, six assists). ... Schwartz has nine points (five goals, four assists) in the past nine games, including a five-game point streak. ... Granlund has a three-game point streak (one goal, four assists). Brodin has a goal and five assists the past five games. Niederreiter has three goals and an assist the past three games.

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